Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence (born April 16, 1965) is an American actor, film director, film producer, screenwriter, and stand up comedian. He came to fame during the 1990s, establishing a Hollywood career as a leading actor, most notably the films Bad Boys, Blue Streak, and Big Momma's House. Lawrence has acted in numerous film roles and starred in his own television series, Martin, which ran from 1992 to 1997.
Lawrence was born in Frankfurt am Main, Hesse in Germany on April 16, 1965, to American parents. He was given his first name after civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and his middle name after US President John F. Kennedy. His father, John Lawrence, served in the US Military. After his parents divorced when he was eight, Lawrence rarely saw his father, who worked as a police officer at the time. His mother, Chlora (née Bailey), 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 (Fairmount Heights, Maryland), Eleanor Roosevelt High School, and also Friendly High School in Fort Washington, Maryland, becoming a Mid-Atlantic Golden Gloves boxing contender.