"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"How old was Martin Short in Clifford?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"Martin Short, who plays 10-year-old Clifford, was 37 during initial filming in 1990, and 40 during the bookend sequences filmed in 1993."}},{"@type":"Question","name":"How old was Martin Short in The Three Amigos?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"In his retelling of a story of meeting Dorothy Gish, Ned Nedlander relates how the actress calls him \"Young Man\". The film is set sometime around the 1st world war, the story quite a while before. Dorothy Gish did not turn 20 until 1918. Martin Short was 36 when the film was shot."}},{"@type":"Question","name":"Are Conan and Martin Short friends?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"Martin Short feels duped about being Conan O'Brien's friend. Steve Martin feels sad about being Conan O'Brien's only friend."}},{"@type":"Question","name":"Are Eugene Levy and Martin Short friends?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"WATCH: Eugene Levy on Being Best Friends with Martin Short, Star on the Walk of Fame and Hating Vacations Video | Jimmy Kimmel Live!"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What characters has Martin Short played?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"Comic actor Martin Short has become famous for his ability to disappear within his characters — so much so that several of them (über-geek Ed Grimley, unctuous chat show host Jiminy Glick, second-string celebrity Jackie Rodgers, Jr., heavily accented wedding planner Franck Eggelhoffer) are probably more easily ..."}}]}}

Martin Short | TV Shows, Movies, Tony Award, Wife, & Family Tragedy (2024)

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Also known as: Martin Hayter Short

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Martin Short

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In full:
Martin Hayter Short
Born:
March 26, 1950, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada (age 74)
Awards And Honors:
Tony Awards (1999)

See all related content →

Martin Short (born March 26, 1950, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) is an Emmy- and Tony-winning Canadian actor, comedian, and writer known for his work on television comedy shows such as SCTV Network and Saturday Night Live, movies such as Three Amigos! (1986) and Father of the Bride (1991), and, more recently, the streaming crime comedy series Only Murders in the Building (2021–23).

Early life

Short is the youngest of five children born to Olive (née Hayter) and Charles Patrick Short. He grew up in Hamilton, Ontario. His mother had been the concertmaster for the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, and his father was an executive with Stelco, a large Canadian steel company. Growing up, Short idolized Frank Sinatra.

As a boy, Short put on pretend variety shows, playing different roles such as host, guest, and comedian. He also developed his comedy chops in his large, rambunctious Irish Roman Catholic family. He had to deal with a succession of tragedies, starting at the age of 12, when his eldest brother died in a car crash. Five years later he lost his mother to cancer, and, when Short was 20, his father died of a stroke. In his 2014 autobiography, I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend, he described how he was able to withstand these emotional blows: “When you’re met with fire early, you develop a certain Teflon quality.”

Short attended McMaster University in Hamilton. Initially, he pursued a premed curriculum, but he switched his course of study and earned a degree in social work. Ultimately, however, encouraged by classmates and future comedy stars Eugene Levy and Dave Thomas, Short decided to try his hand as an entertainer.

Career

Short made his debut as a professional stage actor in 1972 in a Toronto production of Godspell, which also featured Levy, Andrea Martin, Gilda Radner and Victor Garber, alongside musical director Paul Shaffer. Short became romantically involved with Radner during the production, but he wound up marrying her Godspell understudy, actress Nancy Dolman. The couple would adopt three children. Dolman died of ovarian cancer in 2010 (as had Radner in 1989).

In 1977 Short became a cast member of the Toronto branch of the Second City improv company, where he developed a persona that would become among the most beloved of his many hilarious characters: the excitable, spastic Ed Grimley, whose hair rises to a gelled point, trouser waist climbs his midriff, and signature catchphrase is “I must say.” Grimley was a staple character for Short when, after a sojourn in Hollywood, he joined the cast of SCTV Network (earlier known as Second City Television or SCTV) starting with its 1981–82 season, reuniting with former classmates Levy and Thomas, along with other Second City alumni such as John Candy, Andrea Martin, Joe Flaherty, and Catherine O’Hara. Short won an Emmy Award in 1983 for his writing on the show.

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Short moved over to Saturday Night Live (SNL) for the 1984–85 season, joining an “all-star cast” that included Christopher Guest, Billy Crystal, and Harry Shearer. In I Must Say, Short described his one season on the show as a “roller coaster of elation and anxiety,” adding, “With thirty years’ perspective, I now recognize that I should have allowed myself to step back for a moment and simply exult in the privilege of doing that show.” One source of anxiety, he wrote, was having to be “funny on demand.”

The pace of SNL’s production was so harried that Short almost never saw his family: “The kind of show business I wanted was what I saw on The Dick Van Dyke Show,” he quipped in an interview with USA Today years later, “a 9–5 job and go back to New Rochelle.” Still, he had a number of memorable skits on SNL, including one in which he and Shearer played a pair of brothers who aspire to compete in the Olympics in the nonexistent sport of men’s synchronized swimming. Short’s character cannot swim, so he is shown in the pool wearing a life preserver. Guest plays their coach.

After his stint on SNL, Short starred with Steve Martin in the movie Three Amigos! (1986), marking the beginning of a decades-long friendship. The two also collaborated on many other projects, including Father of the Bride (1991). Other movies in which Short has appeared include Innerspace (1987), Clifford (1994), and Mars Attacks! (1996), and he has voiced roles in animated films such as The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Space! (2017) and The Addams Family (2019). From 2001 to 2003 Short plumped up with prosthetics to take on the role of paunchy passive-aggressive celebrity interviewer Jiminy Glick in the parody television talk show Primetime Glick.

Short has also acted on Broadway, winning a Tony Award for his multiple roles in the 1999 musical Little Me after being nominated for best actor in a musical for his performance in The Goodbye Girl (1993). However, he turned down a chance to play Leo Bloom in The Producers, Mel Brooks’s hit Broadway musical based on his earlier film. Matthew Broderick wound up with the part. Nonetheless, Short did get another chance, playing the timid accountant in a 2003 Los Angeles production opposite Jason Alexander. In 2006 Short returned to Broadway in the spurious autobiographical musical Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me.

In 2021 he and Steve Martin teamed up with singer-actress Selena Gomez in the streaming Hulu series Only Murders in the Building, in which their three characters come up with a true-crime podcast of that name after a killing takes place in their swanky apartment building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Playing Oliver Putnam, Short “gives the show some comic spark and humanity, making Martin and Gomez his foils, in the most charming way possible,” The New York Times wrote in a 2021 review. “He steals every scene, not through grandstanding but with the steady skill of an old pro.”

Short was awarded the Order of Canada in 2014 and has a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica Fred Frommer

Martin Short | TV Shows, Movies, Tony Award, Wife, & Family Tragedy (2024)

FAQs

What is Martin Short most famous for? ›

He is known for his work on the television programs SCTV and Saturday Night Live. Short created the characters Jiminy Glick and Ed Grimley.

Does Martin Short have a daughter? ›

How many Emmys does Martin Short have? ›

He is known for his performances on SCTV, Saturday Night Live, and Only Murders in the Building. He has received three Golden Globe Award nominations, five Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, and fifteen Emmy Award nominations winning two Primetime Emmy Awards.

Are Martin Short and Steve Martin friends? ›

She has been working at PEOPLE since April 2022. Her work previously appeared in Newsweek. After four decades of friendship, Steve Martin and Martin Short have accomplished so much together. From appearing in 1986's Three Amigos!

What Disney show is Martin Short in? ›

Only Murders in the Building
StarringSteve Martin Martin Short Selena Gomez Aaron Dominguez Amy Ryan Cara Delevingne Adina Verson Michael Cyril Creighton
Music bySiddhartha Khosla
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
15 more rows

What cartoon was Martin Short in? ›

The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley is an American animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and featuring Martin Short's fictional character Ed Grimley (with Short reprising his role as Grimley).

Are all of Martin Short's kids adopted? ›

Though Martin Short tends to keep his family life private, he is the proud father of three children. Martin and his late wife of 30 years, Nancy Dolman, welcomed three children via adoption before her death in August 2010 from ovarian cancer: Katherine Elizabeth, 40, Oliver Patrick, 38, and Henry Hayter, 34.

Did Martin Short ever marry? ›

Martin Short's personal life includes a marriage to actress Nancy Dolman that lasted from 1980 until her passing from ovarian cancer in 2010. The couple shared three children – Katherine Elizabeth, Oliver Patrick, and Henry Hayter.

Did Martin Short's son go to Notre Dame? ›

Son Oliver Patrick Short currently attends The University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business for marketing and film, television and theatre. He is an aspiring director/producer.

Has Martin Short been nominated for an Oscar? ›

How old was Martin Short in Clifford? ›

Martin Short, who plays 10-year-old Clifford, was 37 during initial filming in 1990, and 40 during the bookend sequences filmed in 1993.

How old was Martin Short in The Three Amigos? ›

In his retelling of a story of meeting Dorothy Gish, Ned Nedlander relates how the actress calls him "Young Man". The film is set sometime around the 1st world war, the story quite a while before. Dorothy Gish did not turn 20 until 1918. Martin Short was 36 when the film was shot.

Are Conan and Martin Short friends? ›

Martin Short feels duped about being Conan O'Brien's friend. Steve Martin feels sad about being Conan O'Brien's only friend.

Are Eugene Levy and Martin Short friends? ›

WATCH: Eugene Levy on Being Best Friends with Martin Short, Star on the Walk of Fame and Hating Vacations Video | Jimmy Kimmel Live!

What characters has Martin Short played? ›

Comic actor Martin Short has become famous for his ability to disappear within his characters — so much so that several of them (über-geek Ed Grimley, unctuous chat show host Jiminy Glick, second-string celebrity Jackie Rodgers, Jr., heavily accented wedding planner Franck Eggelhoffer) are probably more easily ...

What was Martin's main job? ›

Martin Luther King Jr.
The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.
OccupationBaptist minister and activist
MonumentsFull list
MovementCivil rights peace anti-war
AwardsNobel Peace Prize (1964) Presidential Medal of Freedom (posthumous, 1977) Congressional Gold Medal (posthumous, 2004)
21 more rows

How did Martin Short start his career? ›

Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Short started his career by studying for a degree in social work, but when he landed a role in a 1972 Toronto production of Godspell, a show that also featured Andrea Martin, Gilda Radner, and Eugene Levy, he turned his attentions to acting.

Was Martin Short in Aquaman? ›

Martin Short made a cameo as Kingfish in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom as a character used for comic relief.

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