Martin Lawrence first established himself as a Hollywood actor in the 90’s through the film, Bad Boys (1995). Growing up, his single mother worked several odd jobs to support him and his five siblings. As a teen, he demonstrated a natural flair for boxing; while he considered going professional at one point, an injury to his eye soon caused him to reconsider. At the same time, Lawrence was also gifted in comedy. With a little encouragement, he eventually attended an open mic event at The Improv- and thus, his career in comedy was born.
In his early twenties, he landed his first television role in the sitcom, What’s Happening Now (1987). From there, his career in the show biz snowballed; nowadays, he is one of the most well-respected comedians in the country, with a net worth well in the hundreds of millions.
Let’s see what he did to amass such a fortune throughout his career.
Martin Lawrence’s Net Worth 2017 – $110 Million
How did Martin Lawrence Make His Money and Wealth?
Born on April 16, 1965 in Frankfurt, West Germany, Martin Lawrence is the fourth out of six siblings. Growing up, he and his brothers and sisters were raised by their single mother who worked many odd jobs to put food on the table; they rarely saw their estranged father. As a teenager, he was an avid boxer. At one point in time, he even considered going professional; however an eye injury soon led him to reconsider.
Besides boxing, Lawrence also showed a knack for comedy. A natural comedian, he was encouraged by one of his teachers to participate in an open mic event at a local comedy club in his late teens. A great experience, he eventually led him to pursue a career as a comic. Relocating to New York City, Lawrence subsequently landed a spot on the television series, Star Search although he ultimately did not win.
Despite this, his performance on the show had convinced the television executives of his talents. While he didn’t end up taking home the winner’s title, he was offered a role in their sitcom, What’s Happening Now!! (1987). His official acting debut, it brought him much notice as a new actor. Originally introduced as a series regular in season three, he ultimately stayed for 22 episodes until the end of the show in March of 1988.
Having said that, it wasn’t until he helped to create the Fox sitcom, Martin in the summer of 1992 that he first rose to prominence. One of the highest-rated television programming on the network at the time, it attracted over 11 million viewers during its initial season. Not only did he help to co-create the series, but Lawrence himself also played the lead and title protagonist, Martin Payne. Immensely popular, it eventually earned a People’s Choice Award for Favorite TV New Comedy Series in 1993. For his portrayal of Martin, the actor also received two NAACP Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. The turning point of his acting career, Martin reportedly earned him a total of $100,000 during its run.
In 1995, Lawrence broke into the Hollywood scene in the buddy cop comedy film, Bad Boys. Directed by Michael Bay, it starred him as the lead protagonist, a Miami police detective by the name of Marcus Burnett. A commercially successful endeavor, it took in $15.5 million during the first weekend in America. It ended up making over $65 million in North America and more than $75 million in foreign markets for a total worldwide gross of $141 million. The first high-profile film that he had taken part in, it earned him two MTV Movie Award nominations for Best Action Sequence and Best On-Screen Duo. The film would have added a few million to his growing net worth at the time.
In 1997, the actor landed another lead role in the action comedy film, Nothing to Lose. Starring opposite of Tim Robbins, Lawrence played the role of a small-time car jacker. Despite its relatively negative reviews, the movie performed relatively well at the theaters, having made over $11.6 million during its first weekend, which put it at fourth place. Against its production budget of $25 million, it ended up grossing $44 million in the US. Allegedly for his role in the movie, Lawrence was paid a check of $6 million.
Having risen to fame, he eventually starred in Les Mayfield’s comedy movie, Blue Streak in 1999. Supported by a platinum-certified soundtrack, the title was nothing short of a financial success. In the US, it opened at the top of the box office having taken in over $19.2 million during opening weekend; by the end of its run, it had grossed $68 million in North America and $49 million internationally. According to various sources, a hefty chunk of its production budget ~$20 million went toward Lawrence for his role as the main protagonist.
In 2000, Lawrence found himself starring in yet another comedy, this time in Raja Gosnell’s Big Momma’s House. A surprise hit upon its release that summer, it earned over $25.6 million on its opening weekend; its domestic box office revenue ended up being over $117 million. Worldwide, it had grossed $173 million. Not only did Lawrence star in the movie, but he also served as its executive producer. Nominated for several awards including a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Comedy Actor, it easily added another few millions to his net worth.
Three years later, he reprised his role as detective Marcus Burnett in Bad Boys II (2003). A box office hit, it grossed over $46 million during its opening weekend in the US. Despite its negative reviews, the film eventually took in a worldwide total of $273 million- close to double that of what was achieved by the original movie. For his work in the movie, Lawrence was said to have been paid $20 million.
Since then, the actor has starred in several other films including National Security (2003), Rebound (2005), Big Momma’s House 2 (2006), Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins (2008), Death at a Funeral (2010), and Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (2011), to name a few. On average, each of these movies easily earned him a few millions.
In addition to his acting work, Lawrence has released two comedy albums. In 1993, he dropped his debut album, Martin Lawrence Talkin’ Shit through East West Records. Upon its release, it peaked at number seventy six on the US Billboard Top 200 and at number ten on the Top Hip Hop Albums Chart. His second album entitled, Funk It came out two years later in 1995; although it didn’t chart on the Billboard 200, it did reach number thirty five on the Top Hip Hop Albums Chart.
As a television writer and producer, he has also worked on the titles 1st Amendment Stand Up, Love That Girl, Partners, One Night Stand, and A Thin Line Between Love and Hate.
For a bit of “disposable” income, Lawrence has also rented out his Beverly Hills Mansion for $200,000 a month.
If you’re interested in seeing some more numbers, his net worth was estimated to be $56 million 2012. It later climbed to $75 million in 2013 and $91 million in 2014 before finally breaking the $100 million mark in 2015.
Martin Lawrence’s Personal Life and FAQ
Is Martin Lawrence Married?
No, Martin Lawrence is currently not married. Having said that he is engaged to his longtime girlfriend, a nurse practitioner by the name of Roberta Moradfar. According to his Instagram account, he proposed with a custom emerald-cut diamond ring that is allegedly worth $500,000.
Prior to his current relationship with Moradfar, he was married to Shamicka Gibbs from 2010 until 2012 and to Patricia Southall from 1995 until 1997. In the early 90’s, he was also in a relationship with Lark Voorhies.
Does Martin Lawrence Have Any Children?
Yes, he has three children. With his first Patricia, he has a 20-year-old daughter named Jasmine Lawrence; she is currently a student at Duke University.
With his second wife Gibbs, he has two daughters named Iyanna Faith (b. 2000), and Amara Trinity (b. 2002).
Where Did Martin Lawrence Go to College?
From what we can gather, the actor/comedian did not go to college. Following his high school graduation in Maryland, he dove right into a career in comedy.
Where Does Martin Lawrence Live? Pictures of Martin Lawrence’s House
For many years, Martin Lawrence lived in a $26.5 million mansion located in Beverly Hills, California. Featuring 15,000 square ft. of real estate, it includes seven bedrooms and ten bathrooms. Nothing short of luxurious, the home also boasted a gourmet kitchen, a 1,000 square ft. gym, a movie theater, a concession stand, as well as a wine cellar.
Outside in the backyard, it also had a tennis court, an outdoor kitchen, a swimming pool, and a guest house.
What Kind of Car Does Martin Lawrence Drive?
Martin Lawrence is the owner of a Ferrari 458 Italia which is valued at $243,000.
How Much did Martin Lawrence Earn Last Year?
It is estimated that he earned ~$10,000,000 in 2016.
Martin Lawrence’s Career Accomplishments
A recognized face in Hollywood, Lawrence’s films have earned a grand total of $1.9 billion throughout the years.
Since he first won an NAACP Image Award for his role as Martin in 1995, he has also received three Kids’ Choice Award nominations, three MTV Movie Award nominations, a Teen Choice Award nomination and two Blockbuster Entertainment Award nominations. In 2005, he also won a BET Comedy Award.
It has been announced that Lawrence will be starring opposite of Will Smith once again in the fourth sequel, Bad Boys 4 sometime in the near future. As well, there will also be another installment called Bad Boys for Life, which is scheduled to be released on November 9, 2018.
As far as recent headlines go however, the comedian has been receiving a crazy amount of attention for his recent engagement to his girlfriend, Roberta Moradfar. When will they be holding the wedding ceremony? Only time can tell for now.