Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence (born April 16, 1965) is an American comedian, actor, producer, and writer. Lawrence came to fame during the 1990s, establishing a Hollywood career as a leading actor. He got his start playing Maurice Warfield in What's Happening Now!! (1987–1988). He was a leading actor in the Fox television sitcom Martin, the Bad Boys franchise, and House Party, Boomerang, Wild Hogs, Nothing to Lose, Blue Streak, Life, Big Momma's House, and A Thin Line Between Love and Hate.
The fourth of six children, Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence was born on April 16, 1965, in Frankfurt, West Germany. His father, John Lawrence, was serving in the U.S. military at the time of his birth. Lawrence's first and middle names were named after civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and U.S. President John F. Kennedy, respectively. When Lawrence was seven, his father left the military, and the family moved from West Germany back to the United States, settling in Landover, Maryland, in the Washington, D.C., area. Following his parents' divorce when he was eight years old, Lawrence rarely saw his father, who was a police officer. His mother, Chlora (née Bailey), worked several jobs, including as a sales representative and cashier at various department stores to support her family.During his teen years, Lawrence excelled at boxing. While living in Maryland, Lawrence attended Eleanor Roosevelt High School and Friendly High School, and he lived in Apple Grove, becoming a Mid-Atlantic Golden Gloves boxing contender.