A New Description for Steve Martin: Host

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A New Description for Steve Martin: Host

Steve Martin, a prolific talent - comedian, actor, producer and screenwriter - will now add "host" to his list of accomplishments, as he is scheduled to host the 73rd annual Academy Awards show this March.

His "seriously funny" sense of humor and sharp wit make him an apt choice to lead the ceremony, one of the most prestigious awards shows in the world.

"He's everything," said Gil Cates, the show's producer. "He's a movie star, he's funny, he's classy, he's literate. He'll be a wonderful host."

"If you can't win 'em, join 'em," exclaimed Mr. Martin, who has appeared on the show seven times as a presenter but has never been nominated for an award himself.

Born in 1945 in Waco, Texas, and raised in Southern California, Mr. Martin says that his first stint as an entertainer was at Disneyland, where he used to perform magic tricks for tourists as a teenager.

After dropping out of UCLA, the philosophy and theater major began his career in Hollywood as a television writer, winning Emmy awards in 1968 and 1969 for his work on "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour."

He later worked as a stand-up comedian, and his frequent appearances on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" landed him a spot on "Saturday Night Live," the acclaimed comedy sketch show on television.

Among his many honors, Mr. Martin has won Grammy Awards for his two comedy albums, "Let's Get Small" and "A Wild and Crazy Guy." He also received Best Actor awards from the New York Film Critics Association and the National Board of Review for his portrayal of a woman in "All of Me" (1984).

In 1987, "Roxanne," a film he wrote, produced and starred in, garnered him a Best Actor award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. He also won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Actor in a comedy for his performance in "Father of the Bride" (1991).

Mr. Martin has starred in films as "Parenthood" (1989), "L.A Story" (1991), "A Simple Twist of Fate" (1994), "The Spanish Prisoner" (1998) and "Bowfinger" (1999).

Ever the thinking man's comic, Mr. Martin is well-known for his intellectual pursuits away from Hollywood. His play, the comedy-drama "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," enjoyed a successful off-Broadway run in 1993. Last year, he published his first novella, "Shopgirl," which was on the New York Times bestseller list.

He just completed filming the black comedy "Novocaine," with Helena Bonham Carter.

The Oscars event will be held on March 25 and televised live at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

by Kim Jae-seon

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