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Steve Martin is Saying Goodbye to Acting with His Final Role

If there’s anyone in showbiz who doesn’t need an introduction, it’s Steve Martin. From being one of the top stand-up comedians of the 1970’s, to one of the most respected comedic actors of his generation, to being an award-winning musician and writer, Martin has carved out a career that can only be admired with awe. And yet, he’s had a pattern of hitting a peak in his career, only to call it quits and try something new. And he’s also been coaxed out of retirement a few times. If nothing else, Steve Martin certainly keeps us all guessing. But, if his recent remarks are to be believed, it seems that his latest project “Only Murders In the Building” on Hulu, will be his last. He has said that whenever that show is finished, he doesn’t plan to pursue anything more in the world of TV or Film. Join Facts Verse, as we present: Steve Martin is Saying Goodbye to Acting with His Final Role

Martin’s first retirement

Steve Martin is no stranger to a path that includes reaching incredible heights in a creative field, and then hanging it up while he’s at the top. He first achieved superstardom as a stand up comedian in the ‘70s. In many ways, he revolutionized the form. His schtick of ultra-heady ideas, combined with low brow slapstick was something the world hadn’t seen before. He also incorporated costumes, music, juggling, and other elements to his show that most comedians didn’t dare to. Early on, he challenged the conventions of the boundaries of a stand up show by regularly interacting with the audience as the left the building, telling them more jokes, and sometimes even suggesting they all go to another venue. Martin tells a story of how brought the 300 people who had been at his show one night across the street to the gig of a jazz guitar player. He did note that as his crowds grew bigger, this type of thing grew much harder.

Martin’s stand up career elevated to the point where he was filling arenas with adoring fans. He was the biggest name in comedy, and was charting on the Billboard charts with recordings of his comedy shows. And one day, at the top of his game, he decided that was enough. He quit doing stand up, and hasn’t gone back since.  Of course, this retirement wasn’t simply so he could go off and live the rest of his days out of the public spotlight. He simply wanted to pivot to the next creative endeavors.

Steve’s next retirement

Martin then set out to become a celebrated writer and actor. He put out years of memorable movies, books, and plays, and became regarded as one of the greatest comedic minds and performers of his time. He starred in movies ranging from The Jerk, The Man With Two Brains, and Three Amigos, to L.A. Story and Father of the Bride. He also became a prolific writer, penning essays for the New Yorker, plays like the award winning, “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” and his esteemed autobiography, “Born Standing Up.” The latter is considered essential reading for anyone interested in comedy.

So he could easily have kept going along that path, writing books, plays, essays, and screenplays, while simultaneously appearing in films and entertain audiences. But, as with his stand up career, he decided he wanted to pivot careers again. So he essentially quit acting.

One of the big reasons for this was his renewed interest in bluegrass music. Martin has long been an excellent banjo player, and at one point banjo legend Earl Scruggs asked Steve if he’d play on an upcoming album. This gave Martin the confidence to pursue music in a more focused way. He formed a band, The Steep Canyon Rangers, and has toured with recorded with them for many years now. He’s since won many Grammy’s for his work, and was also one of the creators of the hit musical Bright Star.

Steve Gets Coaxed Out of Retirement

Now, before you get too excited, we don’t mean that someone has convinced Steve Martin to start dong stand up again. Though it could be argued that he’s been doing stand up again since 2016, when he began touring with fellow legend Martin short. It’s more of a vaudevillian act that feels more like a revamped version of Laurel and Hardy rather than a tried and true stand up routine, but if you’re a Staeve Martin fan, you’ll take what you can get.

And if you’re familiar with the hit show “Only Murders In The Building” then you know Steve is back in the acting game.

Reportedly, Martin was at a party a few years back with some other notable actors who were in their older years. They were lamenting the fact that there were very few legit projects that were ever created for actors in their 70’s and up. A producer there casually suggested that Martin be the one to fix that problem by writing something specifically for actors of that generation. This prompt caused Martin to start coming up with the idea of about older people investigating murders. And, according to Martin, he had a sudden realization that he would actually make sense as one of the leads in it.

Later, in 2019 he was convinced by his agent to take a meeting with Dan Fogelberg, who had recently produced the hit show “This Is Us.” Towards the end of the meeting, Martin mentioned the idea he’s been toying with about senior citizen detectives. At that point Martin knew he wanted it to take place in a NY apartment building. Fogelberg immediately loved the idea. As the show started coming together, Martin was convinced to have one of the leads be a younger person, and this role eventually went to Selena Gomez. And as things kicked into gear, Martin had three primary demands: That Martin Short would be the other lead, that it would all be filmed in NYC, and that he’d be finished filming each night by around 6pm so he could see his family. The first two ended up happening, though the 6pm request didn’t always work out.

But, seemingly out of nowhere, Martin had gone from retired from acting to being the lead on a TV series of his own creation.

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Is This His Final Acting Gig?

Clearly Steve Martin has a long history of retiring while he’s at the top. And he also has a history of coming back once he’s retired. So it’s tricky to know what he’ll do after Only Murders In the Building finishes its run. The second season is currently airing, and there’s been no indication how long the show will run. However, Martin has said flat out that when the show is over, he doesn’t plan to seek out more jobs on TV or in movies. He’s said he’s not interested in cameos either. In an interview, Martin joked that a studio movie with him as the lead would be a huge box office failure. He even hates the process of taking meetings in Hollywood, saying that during a lunch he’ll feel like the other person is excited about working with him, but that then he’ll never hear from them again. He said, “The mystery is gone. You realize you’re just a couple of boring guys.” So it looks as if, for the time being, this show will be Martin’s last. And at the same time, fans of the legendary comedian will hold out hope that the right project will come around and give him the inspiration he needs to pick things back up again.

Steve’s Life Outside of Showbiz

One of the many reasons why Martin doesn’t mind the thought of retiring again is that he’s very happy with him home life. After a long time marriage to actress Victoria Tennant, the two divorced in 1994. But in 2007, Martin married New Yorker staffer Anne Stringfield. Then, five years later the two welcomed a daughter. Martin says he’s enjoying home life as much as he ever has, and that one of the best aspects of retirement is that he has plenty of time to spend with his family. Stringfield is 26 years younger than Martin, but that hasn’t deterred them from having a wonderful relationship with each other and their daughter. Martin was 67 when his daughter was born, and is loving fatherhood. So much so, that the thought of leaving New York for months at a time to go film a movie is wholly unappealing to him. So it makes sense that the comedic legend isn’t going to be actively looking for that kind of work any time soon.

Steve Martin has certainly earned time off to spend with his family, after working in showbiz for nearly six decades. And for fans, if he decides to release something in the future, it’ll be a welcome treat. Now it’s time to hear from you. What’s your favorite Steve Martin movie? Do you think he should hold off retiring? Let us know in the comments section below! And before you go, be sure to give this video a like, and subscribe to Facts Verse if you haven’t already. Click the bell icon to stay updated on all our latest content!

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