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THE BIG YEAR

STEVE MARTIN (Stu Preissler) is an actor, comedian, author, playwright, producer, musician, and recognized member of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been successful as a writer and performer in some of the most popular movies of recent film history.

In addition to his storied film and television career, Martin has become involved with the bluegrass scene and has been impressed with the overall level of musicianship that exists in the world of the professional and semi-professional player. As such, in 2010, Martin established The Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, an annual award which brings recognition to an individual or group for outstanding accomplishment in the field of five-string banjo or bluegrass music. In its inaugural year, the award was presented to Noam Pikelny. Martin's new album Rare Bird Alert, which features guest appearances by Paul McCartney and The Dixie Chicks, was released in March 2011.

Martin published his second children's book, Late for School, on September 8, 2010. Narrated with wit and charm, getting to school has never been quite this difficult – or hilarious. Martin and illustrator C. F. Payne teamed up to tell a story of the adventure, danger, and laughs of the journey to school. Enclosed with the book is a CD of Martin on banjo, singing the book's story with a bluegrass twist.

For his adult readers, Martin's latest novel An Object of Beauty, was released November 2010. Sharing his knowledge of the 1990s New York arts scene, Martin tells the story of Lacey Yeager, a young, captivating, and ambitious young woman who takes the NYC art world by storm.

In March 2010, Martin, along with Alec Baldwin, co-hosted the 82nd Annual Academy Awards®, Martin's third time serving as host of the prestigious show. He received an Emmy® nomination in the category of Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special for his participation.

On January 31, 2010, Martin's banjo album, The Crow / New Songs For The Five-String Banjo, won a Grammy® for Best Bluegrass Album.

Christmas 2009 saw Martin share the screen with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin in Universal's It's Complicated. In 2008, Martin had two books published: In October, Doubleday released a children's book titled The Alphabet from A to Y with Bonus Letter Z!, co-written with The New Yorker illustrator Roz Chast. In December 2008, Martin's autobiography, Born Standing Up, was published by Scribner.

In December 2007, Martin was the recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor.

In 2005, Martin received critical praise for the Touchstone Pictures film Shopgirl, co-starring Claire Danes and Jason Schwartzman. The screenplay was written by Martin and adapted from his best-selling novella of the same name. In the winter of 2003, Martin starred in the highest grossing film of his career, Cheaper by the Dozen, directed by Shawn Levy for 20th Century Fox. Christmas 2005 saw the much anticipated sequel Cheaper by the Dozen 2 starring the original cast and adding in a rival family, headed by Eugene Levy. In February 2003, Martin starred with Queen Latifah in the blockbuster comedy, Bringing Down the House for Touchstone Pictures, which grossed $132.7 million.

Martin hosted the 75th Annual Academy Awards in 2003, his second time handling those duties, the first being the 73rd Oscars. The 75th Annual Academy Awards was nominated for seven Emmy Awards, including a nomination for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program.

Born in Waco, Texas and raised in Southern California, Martin became a television writer in the late 1960s, winning an Emmy Award for his work on the hit series The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. By the end of the decade he was performing his own material in clubs and on television.

Launched by frequent appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Martin went on to host several shows in the innovative Saturday Night Live series and star in and co-write four highly rated television specials. When performing on national concert tours, he drew standing-room-only audiences in some of the largest venues in the country. He won Grammy Awards for his two comedy albums, Let's Get Small and A Wild and Crazy Guy, and had a gold record with his single King Tut. In 2003, Martin won a Grammy Award for Best country instrumentalist for his playing on Earl Scruggs 75th Anniversary album.

Martin's first film project, The Absent-Minded Waiter, a short he wrote and starred in, was nominated for a 1977 Academy Award. In 1979, he moved into feature films, co-writing and starring in The Jerk, directed by Carl Reiner. In 1981, Martin starred opposite Bernadette Peters in Herbert Ross' bittersweet musical comedy, Pennies From Heaven.

Martin then co-wrote and starred in the 1982 send-up of detective thrillers, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid and the science fiction comedy The Man With Two Brains, both directed by Carl Reiner. In 1984, Martin received a Best Actor Award from both the New York Film Critics Association and the National Board of Review for his performance opposite Lily Tomlin in All of Me, his fourth collaboration with writer/director Carl Reiner.

In 1987, Martin's motion picture hit, Roxanne, a modern adaptation of the Cyrano de Bergerac legend, garnered him not only warm audience response, but also a Best Actor Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and Best Screenplay Award from the Writers Guild of America. Martin was also the executive producer on the film.

In 1988, he costarred with Michael Caine in the hit comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, his second feature collaboration with director Frank Oz (the first being Little Shop of Horrors). In 1989, Martin starred with Mary Steenburgen and Dianne Wiest in Ron Howard's family comedy, Parenthood, for Universal Pictures.

In 1991, Martin wrote, starred in and co-executive produced the critically acclaimed comedy, L.A. Story. That same year he made a cameo appearance in Lawrence Kasdan's critically lauded Grand Canyon and starred with Diane Keaton in the hit Disney film Father of the Bride, receiving the People's Choice Award for Favorite Actor in a Comedy Motion Picture for the latter. In 1992, Martin starred in the Universal comedy feature Housesitter, opposite Goldie Hawn, winning the People's Choice Award for Favorite Actor in a Comedy, for the second year in a row.

In 1996, he starred again with Diane Keaton in the hit sequel to Father of the Bride, and was nominated for a Golden Globe® Award. In 1997, he received universal critical acclaim for his riveting performance in director David Mamet's thriller, The Spanish Prisoner.

Martin wrote and starred in the 1999 feature comedy, Bowfinger, opposite Eddie Murphy for director Frank Oz. The film was showcased at the Deauville International Film Festival.

Martin's other films include Frank Oz's Little Shop of Horrors, in which he played a demented dentist; John Hughes' Planes, Trains and Automobiles, also starring John Candy; and the comic Western send-up The Three Amigos, also starring Martin Short and Chevy Chase .

In 1993, Martin's first original play, the comedy-drama Picasso at the Lapin Agile, was presented by Chicago's prestigious Steppenwolf Theatre. Following rave reviews and an extended run in Chicago, the play was presented successfully in Boston and Los Angeles, and then Off-Broadway in New York at the Promenade Theatre, to critical and audience acclaim. It has since been, and continues to be, mounted in productions worldwide. WASP, a one act play that Martin wrote, was first performed at the Public Theatre in NY in 1995. The Underpants, a dark comedy Martin adapted from the 1911 play by Carl Sterneim, premiered Off-Broadway at the Classic Stage Company in 2002.

In 1996, Martin was honored with a retrospective of his work, by the American Film Institute's Third Decade Council at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. He was also presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the ceremony. In 2004 Martin was honored by the American Cinematheque.

A selection of paintings from his extensive, private, modern art collection was given a special exhibition at the Bellagio Hotel gallery in Las Vegas in 2000, with catalog notes written for the show by Martin.

After the success of his first novella Shopgirl, Martin's second novella, The Pleasure of My Company, published by Hyperion, appeared on best seller lists around the country, including the New York Times. He has written a best-selling collection of comic pieces, Pure Drivel, and his work frequently appears in The New Yorker and The New York Times.

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