Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Summer 2001 Newsletter

Steve Martin at the Ransom Center

Photograph of Steve Martin by Greg Gorman.
Steve Martin. Photograph by Greg Gorman.

>Book jacked, Shopgirl, Steve Martin, 40 Share Productions, 2000. Jacket design © Anton Ginzburg. Front jacket photo © Jorge Martinez.
Book jacket, Shopgirl, Steve Martin, 40 Share Productions, 2000. Jacket design © Anton Ginzburg. Front jacket photo © Jorge Martinez.

Steve Martin, one of America's best humorists, was born in Waco on August 14, 1945. His family moved to California when he was five and as he grew up he gravitated toward theater and comedy. As a young man, Martin worked as a comedy writer for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967-1968) and later for The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour (1972-1973) all the while performing in nightclubs as a stand-up comedian. His big break came in 1976 with his first appearance on Saturday Night Live (he's hosted that show more times than anyone else). Since that time, Martin's greatest successes have been in film. Such classics as The Jerk, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, and The Man With Two Brains have showcased Martin's talents both as a comedian and as a writer.

The Ransom Center's Steve Martin Collection includes early drafts of three of Martin's best works, the screenplays for Roxanne, LA Story, and the cult favorite, The Three Amigos! Martin continues to work in film and television, serves as a trustee of the Los Angeles Museum of Art, and has recently published his first work of fiction, Shopgirl.

— Steve Wilson


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