Martin Short
Birth Date:
March 26, 1950
Birth Place:
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
5' 7½" (1.71 m)
Famous for:
His role on SCTV Comedy Network (1982)
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Glick Creator


"I truly believe that when you're funny, you're blessed. Your whole life is kind of golden. I was happy, although it was not perfect happiness. There was illness and sadness and death." Martin Short.

Canadian comedian-actor Martin Short became a star in the 1980s on the television comedy shows “SCTV Comedy Network 90” (1982-1983) and “Saturday Night Live” (1984-1985). In his own show, "The Martin Short Show" (1999), Short began created a fictional character called Jiminy Glick, a fat, famous celebrity interviewer, who was later granted his own Comedy Central show, Primetime Glick (2001-2003). The character was also brought into the big screen, Jiminy Glick in La La Wood (2005).

"I am a timeless imp with endless energy." Martin Short.

As a film actor, the diminutive and exuberant performer since the 1970s starred in films like Three Amigos (1986; with fellow SNL comedians Chevy Chase and Steve Martin), Innerspace (1987), Clifford (1994), Mars Attacks (1996) and Mumford (1999). He recently played the mischievous Jack Frost in the newly-released The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006) and is currently filming his upcoming film, The Spiderwick Chronicles, alongside David Strathairn and Mary-Louise Parker.

"Two words, sweetie: balloon mortgage. And the need to be loved." Martin Short (on why he remains in show business).


Childhood and Family:

"I'm totally aware of how lucky I am. I have health, family, children. I do work that gives me total joy and allows me to make a living, and maybe, if I'm lucky enough, I'll feel I've fulfilled a little bit of service to society because I brought other people some laughter." Martin Short.

On March 26, 1950, Martin Hayter Short was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. His father, Charles Patrick Short (died in 1972 as a result of complications from a stroke), is an Irish VP of Canada's largest steel company who came to North America as a stowaway Roman Catholic refugee from Belfast, Northern Ireland during the Troubles at age 21, and his mother, Olive Short, was a child prodigy of the violin, and was the first female concertmaster in North America (died in 1970 after a five-year battle with cancer). The youngest of five children, Martin has three brothers: the late David Short, who died in 1965 in a car crash, Michael Short, an Emmy winning television writer, and Brian, vice president of Dover Industries in Canada, and an older sister Nora, an anesthesiologist.

Martin Short, nicknamed Marty, graduated from Westdale High school in Hamilton, Ontario. He majored in social work at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, after beginning as a pre-med student and then studying sociology. In 1972, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in social work.

In 1980, Martin married Canadian comic actress Nancy Dolman, most notable for her recurring role on the ABC cult sitcom "Soap" (1977) and "Custard Pie" (1977). They have two sons: Oliver Patrick Short (born in 1986; an aspiring director/producer currently attends The University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business for marketing and film, television and theatre) and Henry Short (born in 1990). They also have one daughter, Katherine Short (born in 1983; an aspiring actress currently attends New York University.)

Primetime Glick


"What's great about being a character actor is you know that you can survive forever. It's not about the gloss of your eyebrows. One of my great influences was Don Knotts as Barney Fife." Martin Short.

Initially interested in pursuing career in social work, Martin Short subsequently turned into acting after he was cast in a production of “Godspell” in 1972. Afterward, he was involved in several television shows and plays, including an intense topical drama, "Fortune and Men's Eyes." With the suggestions of his McMasters classmates Eugene Levy and Dave Thomas, both notable comedians, Martin decided to pursue comedy and joined Levy and Thomas at the Second City improv troupe in 1977. He also joined Toronto's Second City troupe, where he honed his lovably grotesque comic creations and inspired impressions.

In 1979, Martin made his feature acting debut in Melvin Frank's romantic comedy starring George Segal and Glenda Jackson, Lost and Found, and debuted as a TV regular in U.S, on ABC brief-running sitcom "The Associates.” Three years later, he joined the ensemble of "SCTV Comedy Network" during its fifth season as a writer-performer. From 1984 to 1985, he spent working in a superior season of NBC weekly late night comedy-variety show "Saturday Night Live."

The comedian slowly transformed into Hollywood movies and got his first starring role in John Landis' 1986 comedy western film, ¡Three Amigos!, in which he shared the swashbuckling title role with heavyweights Chevy Chase and Steve Martin, playing Ned Nederlander, and followed it up with another starring role, as a hypochondriac who begins to hear voices in his head in the sci-fi comedy Innerspace (1987; with Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan), based around a spoof of the 1966 sci-fi classic Fantastic Voyage. He also had uncredited cameo as the smarmy agent in The Big Picture (1989; starring Kevin Bacon), as Franck Eggelhoffer, the gonzo European wedding planner, in the remake of Father of the Bride (1991; with Steve Martin and Diane Keaton), and its 1995 installment, Father of the Bride Part II (this time as a decorator). During that time, he also had leading roles, but was frequently missed, in films like Three Fugitives (1989), Pure Luck (1991) and Clifford (1994).

Meanwhile, Martin impressed theatergoers with his accomplished musical comedy work in Neil Simon's "The Goodbye Girl." First produced in Chicago in 1992 and later on the Broadway, "The Goodbye Girl" received a Tony nomination in 1993. The next year, Martin returned to the small screen to star in his own short-lived NBC sitcom, "The Martin Short Show," in which he delivered his excellent creation of comic characters by performing wacky parodies of Hollywood entertainment personalities, including Katharine Hepburn and Jerry Lewis. 1994 also saw Martin was named a Member of the Order of Canada.

Moviegoers could catch Martin in the disappointing theatrical comedy A Simple Wish (1997), playing a bumbling male fairy godmother, and played attorney Lionel Dillard in comedic movie Mumford (1999). On television, after earning an Emmy nomination as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie after giving appearances as the magical imp Frik in the NBC miniseries "Merlin"(1998), Martin played the zany Mad Hatter in the CBS mini "Alice in Wonderland" (1999). On stage, he played a multitude of characters in the Broadway revival of "Little Me" (1998) musical by Neil Simon, Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh and he subsequently won the Tony Award as Best Actor (Musical).

During "The Martin Short Show," Martin began created a fictional character called Jiminy Glick, a fat, famous television interviewer who usually knows nothing about his guests and hurls veiled insults at them during his interviews. The character then was granted his own Comedy Central show, Primetime Glick (2001-2003), which was nominated an Emmy in 2003. The character later starred in his own 2005 film, Jiminy Glick in La La Wood.

"I've always liked myself on talk shows--I can objectively look at myself and say, that's me being kind of loose at a party. I buy that." Martin Short.

Meanwhile, Martin went back on stage to portray the nebbish Leo Bloom to Jason Alexander's Max Bialystock in the 2003 Los Angeles production of the hit Broadway musical "The Producers" (derived from the Mel Brooks film of the same name) at the Pantages theater. He also returned to television with a memorable serious dramatic turn on the crime series "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and on the Fox cult favorite sitcom "Arrested Development," as the elderly, paraplegic millionaire Uncle Jack.

In 2006, performed in and co-wrote the autobiographical Broadway musical, "Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me," a twisted take on the trend of soul-baring, one-person shows. It opened at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on Broadway on August 17 and has been enjoying a successful preview run since July 26.

“This is satire. I am a satirist. Modern-day society has this obsession with needing to know every ounce of angst about performers' lives, to the point that it becomes more important than whether they can perform." Martin Short (on his Broadway show “Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me” (2006)).

As for film, he could be seen playing the mischievous Jack Frost, opposite Scott Calvin’s Santa Claus, in the newly-released The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, a 2006 sequel to The Santa Clause and The Santa Clause 2. He is currently filming his upcoming film, an adventure family drama movie directed by Mark Waters, The Spiderwick Chronicles, alongside David Strathairn and Mary-Louise Parker.

"I could retire in a second. I don't know. I want my exit to be as cool as my entrance. I kind of feel that when you do what I do, you make a deal with the audience. Do they really need to see you wheeled out on a stretcher? But I do know this ? I love performing." Martin Short.


  • Tony: Actor in a Musical, “Little Me,” 1999

  • Outer Critics Circle: Outstanding Actor in a Musical, “Little Me,” 1999

  • Gemini: Earle Grey Award, 1995

  • Theater World Award, 1993

  • Outer Critics Circle: Outstanding Actor in a Musical, “The Goodbye Girl,” 1993

  • Emmy: Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program, "SCTV Network 90," 1983; award shared

  • Nelly: Outstanding Writing, “SCTV Comedy Network 90," 1982

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