Grammy Award winner, actor, and funny man Steve Martin has announced he’s stepping away from his acting career, much to his fans’ dismay.
Actor Steve Martin started both his acting career and his love for Disney at a young age. His first job was at Disneyland, when the park first opened in 1955. Martin was only 10 years old when he began working at the Happiest Place on Earth, and he continued working at the park until 1958 when he was 13.
According to a post at D23, “In the late 1970s, as the nation watched the skyrocketing success of a ‘wild and crazy’ young comic named Steve Martin, few were aware that many elements of his unforgettable, inspired, and iconic comic repertoire had their beginnings inside the berm of Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom.”
“The arrow-through-the-head was a thing we used to sell at Disneyland,” Martin recalled. “It was just so silly. It was like anti-comedy.”
Martin worked at the old Merlin’s Magic Shop in Fantasyland at Disneyland in Anaheim, where “he sold and demonstrated the packaged magic tricks and practical joke items on sale” and “learned all the tricks, and collected all the jokes, writing down every gag.”
“I knew every nook and cranny of the shop,” Martin once recalled.
Martin was born in Waco, Texas, in 1945, but he moved with his family to Southern California when he was only five years old. Then, five years later, his family moved again, this time “into a tract house two miles from Disneyland.” But Martin isn’t nearly as famous for his work at Disneyland, however, as he is for his work as a stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and producer.
His resume includes credits for work as a comedian and as an actor in numerous films, shows, and other projects, including The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967-1969), The Jerk (1979), Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (1982), The Man with Two Brains (1983), All of Me (1984), Three Amigos (1986), Roxanne (1987), Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) opposite actor John Candy, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988), Parenthood, (1989), Father of the Bride (1991), Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), and The Pink Panther (2006). Martin has also been a host on Saturday Night Live in New York City 16 times, often opposite actor Alec Baldwin.
Steve Martin’s Disney Career
Martin’s Disney career continued, though not as a cast member. In 1977, Martin guest-starred on The Muppet Show and later portrayed an impatient waiter in The Muppet Movie.
Then, in 1991, he embodied the character of father George Banks in the 1991 Touchstone Pictures film Father of the Bride. Four years later, he reprised his role in the sequel to the film. In Disney’s Fantasia 2000, Martin was an “interstitial host,” and in 2005, standing next to Donald Duck himself, Steve Martin hosted the attraction Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years in celebration of the park’s 50th anniversary. In 2005, he was named a Disney Legend.
Martin currently plays Charles-Haden Savage alongside actor Martin Short and Selena Gomez in the Hulu series Only Murders in the Building, a series for which he is also the co-creator and producer.
His accolades and awards are numerous and include five Grammy Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, and an Honorary Academy Award. Martin was also nominated for a Tony Award twice for his musical Bright Star in 2016, and among his many other honors, the actor and comedian received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2005, the Kennedy Center Honor in 2007, and an AFI Life Achievement Award in 2015.
But now, Martin says he’s stepping away from it all.
The Star Actor Will Act No More . . . at Least for Now
Martin, now 78 years old, is reportedly thrilled with the success he’s enjoying with his latest series for Hulu, but those closest to him say he’s planning to take a step back from acting to focus on something that happened more than ten years ago.
According to RadarOnline, Steve Martin is receiving more job offers than he ever has at any time in his career, thanks in part to the success of Only Murders in the Building. But he’s not interested in accepting them at this time in his life, as he feels that taking on more acting gigs would ultimately keep him from his wife, Anne Stringfield, 51, and their ten-year-old daughter, Mary.
The success of Martin’s Hulu series has reportedly “forced [him] to face tough choices about the future of his career and life at home.”
“On one hand, Steve is thrilled he’s gained back his popularity with this quirky new series,” a source close to Martin said in an interview, “but on the other, he finds the grueling schedule time-consuming, and it’s taking him away from his young family. Steve’s second wife is 26 years his junior, and he wants to keep her from growing bored. He also says Mary is about to enter her teens, a time when a girl needs her dad most, so he’s ready to put family first.”
In 2017, Martin said, “I think if I’d had a child earlier, I would have been a lousy father because I would have misplaced my attention on my career.” Now, Martin reportedly is planning to slow down so he can focus on what matters most to him.
The insider noted, “Mary is his only child, and he wants to get it right.”