Stephen Glenn "Steve" Martin (born August 14, 1945) is an American actor, comedian, writer, playwright, producer, musician and composer.
Martin was born in Waco, Texas, and raised in Southern California, where his early influences were working at Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm and working magic and comedy acts at these and other smaller venues in the area. His ascent to fame picked up when he became a writer for the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and later became a frequent guest on The Tonight Show. In the 1970s, Martin performed his offbeat, absurdist comedy routines before packed houses on national tours. Since the 1980s, having branched away from stand-up comedy, he has become a successful actor, playwright, pianist, banjo player, and juggler, eventually earning Emmy, Grammy, and American Comedy awards.
Martin was born in Waco, Texas, the son of Mary Lee Martin and Glenn Vernon Martin, a real estate salesman and an aspiring actor. Martin was raised in Inglewood, California, and then later in Garden Grove, California, in a Baptist family. One of his earliest memories is of seeing his father, as an extra, serving drinks onstage at the Call Board Theatre on Melrose Place. During World War II, in England, Martin's father had appeared in a production of Our Town with Raymond Massey. Years later, he would write to Massey for help in Steve's fledgling career, but would receive no reply. Expressing his affection through gifts of cars, bikes, etc., Martin's father was stern, not emotionally open to his son. He was proud but critical, with Martin later recalling that in his teens his feelings for his father were mostly ones of hatred. Martin's first job was at Disneyland, selling guidebooks on weekends and full-time during the summer school break. That lasted for three years (1955–1958). During his free time he frequented the Main Street Magic shop, where tricks were demonstrated to potential customers. By 1960, he had mastered several of the tricks and illusions, and took a paying job there in August. There he perfected his talents for magic, juggling, and creating balloon animals, frequently performing for tips. In his authorized biography, close friend Morris Walker suggests that Martin could "be described most accurately as an agnostic he rarely went to church and was never involved in organized religion of his own volition".