MARTIN SHORT Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Martin Hayter Short                                                                   
Born: 26 March 1950 Hamilton, Ontario, Canada                                               
Martin Hayter Short (born March 26, 1950) is an Emmy Award-nominated                       
Canadian-American comedian, actor, writer, singer and producer. He is best known           
for his comedy work, particularly on the TV programs SCTV and Saturday Night               
The youngest of five children, Short was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada to               
Charles and Olive Short. His father, an executive with Stelco, a Canadian                   
steel company, came to North America in 1921 as a stowaway Roman Catholic                   
refugee from Belfast, Northern Ireland during the Irish War of Independence.               
His mother, who was the concertmaster of the Hamilton Symphony Orchestra,                   
encouraged his early creative endeavours.                                                   
Short attended Westdale Secondary School and graduated in 1972 from McMaster               
University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in social work.                                   
Short lost several members of his family at an early age. His eldest brother,               
David, was killed in a car accident in 1962, when Short was 12. His mother died             
of cancer when he was 17; two years later, his father died of complications from           
a stroke in 1970.                                                                           
When Short graduated from McMaster University, he intended to pursue a career in           
social work, but he became interested in acting once he was cast in a Toronto               
production of Godspell in 1972 (among the other members of that production's               
cast: Victor Garber, Gilda Radner, Eugene Levy, Dave Thomas and Andrea Martin,             
with Paul Shaffer as musical director.) He was subsequently cast in several                 
television shows and plays, including an intense topical drama, "Fortune and Men's         
Eyes". (He worked solely in Canada from 1972 through 1979.)                                 
In 1979, Short starred in the ill-fated TV sitcom "The Associates" about a group           
of young novice lawyers working at a Wall Street law firm. The show was                     
cancelled after only 9 of the 13 episodes were aired, but received 2 Golden                 
Globe nominations after its cancellation.                                                   
Short then joined the cast of "I'm A Big Girl Now", a sitcom vehicle for Diana             
Canova that also starred Danny Thomas, in 1980. Canova was offered the sitcom               
due to her success playing Corinne Tate Flotsky on ABC's "Soap", and she left               
the cast of the latter show in the fall of 1980 in order to accept the offer               
shortly before Short's newlywed wife Nancy Dolman joined it.                               
Short was encouraged to pursue comedy by McMaster classmates Eugene Levy and               
Dave Thomas, both notable comedians in their own right. He joined Levy and                 
Thomas at improv troupe The Second City in 1977. Short came to public notice               
when the troupe produced a show for television, called SCTV (Second City                   
Television), which ran for several years in Canada and the United States. Short             
was a cast member and performed several recurring characters. He was a member of           
the troupe for several years before moving on to Saturday Night Live for the               
1984-1985 season. At SCTV, Short developed many characters which he later                   
used at SNL, including:                                                                     
Talk show host Brock Linehan, based on the Canadian interviewer Brian Linehan.             
Aged songwriter Irving Cohen                                                               
Spurious albino entertainer Jackie Rogers, Jr.                                             
Current-events commentator Troy Soren                                                       
Industrialist and art patron Bradley P. Allen                                               
Defensive attorney Nathan Thurm                                                             
Oddball man-child Ed Grimley                                                               
Hollywood agent and man-about-town Jiminy Glick.                                           
[edit] Saturday Night Live                                                                 
Main article: Saturday Night Live                                                           
At "SNL", Short helped revive the show after Eddie Murphy left with his many               
characters, including the Wheel of Fortune fan Ed Grimley he borrowed from his             
SCTV days. The Grimley character became perhaps Short's best known original                 
character. He also was recognized for his impersonations of celebrities, notably           
Jerry Lewis and Katharine Hepburn, and for the character of Nathan Thurm. SNL               
proved to be the springboard to a long career in film & TV.