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This week's celebrity pick is the talented actor, Martin Lawrence
Category: Celebrity Pick
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Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence (born April 16, 1965) is German-born American actor, film director, film producer, screenwriter, and comedian. He came to fame during the 1990s, establishing a Hollywood career as a leading actor, most notably in the films House Party, Bad Boys, Blue Streak, and Big Momma's House. Lawrence has had numerous film roles and his own highly-rated television series eponymously named after him, Martin, which aired on the Fox network from 1992 to 1997.

Lawrence, the second of six children, was born in Frankfurt am Main, on April 16, 1965, to American parents. He was named after civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and U.S. President John F. Kennedy. His father John Lawrence served in the U.S. military. After his parents divorced when he was eight years old,Lawrence rarely saw his father, who worked as a police officer. His mother Chlora Lawrence (née Bailey, July 24, 1930 – August 28, 2008) began working several jobs to support her family. During his teen years Lawrence excelled at boxing. He lived in Maryland, and attended Thomas G. Pullen School of Creative and Performing Arts (Landover, Maryland), Fairmont Heights High School (Fairmont Heights, Maryland), Eleanor Roosevelt High School, and Friendly High School in Fort Washington, Maryland, becoming a Mid-Atlantic Golden Gloves boxing contender. He seriously considered a professional career until he suffered a black eye that prompted him to reconsider.

Lawrence moved to Denver, Colorado and found his way to the legendary Kings Wood comedy club. Shortly after appearing at the Wood, he won a performance spot on Star Search. He did well on the show and made it to the final round, but didn't win. However, executives at Columbia TriStar Television saw Martin's performance and offered him the role of "Maurice" on the television sitcom What's Happening Now! This was his first acting job. Upon cancellation of that show, Lawrence found bit parts in various films and television series. His breakthrough role was as Cee in the Spike Lee film Do the Right Thing. Other roles followed in films such as the House Party series, Talkin' Dirty After Dark, and the Eddie Murphy vehicle Boomerang. During this period, entertainment mogul Russell Simmons selected him to host the groundbreaking series Def Comedy Jam on HBO. Def Comedy Jam gave many comedians (including Chris Tucker, Dave Chappelle, Mike Epps, Bernie Mac and Cedric the Entertainer) mainstream exposure.

During his stint with Def Comedy Jam, Lawrence appeared in his own hit series, Martin, which aired on Fox TV. The show ran from 1992 to 1997 and was an enormous success. Martin was the flagship of Fox's Thursday-night line-up, which drew millions of viewers away from NBC's "Must See TV" line-up. He hosted Saturday Night Live on February 19, 1994, where he made crude remarks about women's genitalia and personal hygiene; the monologue was completely edited out of NBC reruns and syndicated versions, and Lawrence was banned from the show for life. Martin's ratings continued to skyrocket so much that Fox became more of a contender against NBC and came closer to being considered among the top television networks.

After Martin ended its run in 1997, Lawrence found ample work in comedy films. He often starred as the second lead opposite actors including Eddie Murphy, Danny DeVito, and Tim Robbins. Many of his films were blockbusters at the box office, including Nothing to Lose, Life, Blue Streak, and Big Momma's House. He also starred in critical- and box-office failures including, Black Knight and National Security. Regardless, his salary steadily increased to over $10 million per film role. He continues to work in film, with such films as Big Momma's House 2, which opened at No. 1 at North American box office and grossed almost $28 million its first weekend, and Wild Hogs (2007), in which he plays a bored suburbanite seeking adventure on the open road in a biker comedy alongside John Travolta, Tim Allen and William H. Macy.

In 2006, Lawrence appeared on Inside the Actors Studio, during which Lawrence briefly brought back to life some of the characters he'd portrayed on Martin.

In 2008, Lawrence starred in Disney's College Road Trip co-starring with Raven-Symoné. This was his first G-rated film. Even so, it is not his first time appearing in a children's film; he supplied a voice for Open Season (2006) opposite Ashton Kutcher.

At the 2009 BET Awards he appeared in a spoof movie trailer with Jamie Foxx for a fictional movie, The Skank Robbers that featured their respective television characters Sheneneh Jenkins and Ugly Wanda. In 2010, Fox announced that it was producing a film based on the sketch, featuring Foxx, Lawrence, and actress Halle Berry.

In 2011, Lawrence reprised his role as FBI agent Malcolm Turner in Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, the third film in the Big Momma's House series.

In January 2013, it was announced that Lawrence and Kelsey Grammer are considering pairing up to star in a comedy for Lionsgate TV. The series will likely follow the same production model as Charlie Sheen's Anger Management, which is also produced by Lionsgate TV. That show was recently given a hardy back-90 pickup following its initial 10-episode order. In March 2013, it was announced that television producers/writers Robert L. Boyett and Robert Horn are on board, writing and executive producing. They have worked on the popular hit sitcoms Family Matters, Perfect Strangers, Full House, and Designing Women. Braddock & Jackson, pairs the two actors as Chicago lawyers from "vastly different backgrounds who unexpectedly meet in court on the worst day of their lives," according to a network description. David A. Arnold has been tapped to write. Arnold has written for television shows including: Raising Whitley, Meet the Browns, The Rickey Smiley Show and more. Edi Patterson has been cast as a regular and will play Verushka, a busty, sexy Russian woman who co-owns the massage shop next door. Danièle Watts will play the daughter of Lawrence's character. The show is expected to debut in 2014.

Source: Wikipedia

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