Actor/comedian Martin Lawrence started the 21st century off with a bang, starring and executive producing Big Momma's House, the story of an FBI agent posing as a corpulent Southern matriarch, which went on to gross more than 100 million dollars, despite universally negative reviews. The success of this film pushed Lawrence ever closer to joining the much-coveted 20-million-dollar club, cementing his reputation as one of the biggest comic stars for years to come.
Lawrence was born in Frankfurt, Germany, on April 16, 1965, and eventually settled with his family in suburban Maryland around his sixth birthday. Soon after, his father left the family; Lawrence claims he got his start as a comedian by cheering up his mother, who was forced to support her six children by cashiering in various department stores. He attended Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Landover, MD, dabbling in sports and sticking with comedy, even agreeing to stop acting up in an art class in return for performing his stand-up routine in front of the other students.