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"He was very proud of the play Picasso at the Lapin Agile," Martin says. "If my father had always said, 'Oh, everything you're doing is just wonderful,' would I have become an artist?Often when I'm standing onstage, I believe I'm trying to get my father's attention." Until he was 40, Martin dated an eclectic list of actresses and artists that included Bernadette Peters, the late Carrie Fisher and the artist Cindy Sherman.En español | TRY FOR A MOMENT to imagine the horror of being Steve Martin's manager in 1981, the year he abruptly quit stand-up comedy: "You're the most famous comedian on the planet, Steve.
But recently, Martin decided to return to his roots.
Though he's been lauded as a comedy genius — Comedy Central once ranked Martin sixth among history's 100 greatest stand-up comedians, with Richard Pryor at the top — Martin says his success came not from innate talent but from dogged effort, honing his material night after night.
"I always divide the world up into people like Picasso or Oscar Wilde, who seemed to have been born with their gifts, and the rest of us, who work at what we do," he says. It was working." As Martin's star rose, his mother enjoyed his success.
I lift weights, but I just do my chest and arms." Having a younger wife, and a child — his first — still in nursery school, is to Martin a responsibility as well as a pleasure. Along the way to wisdom, he has also collected accolades: everything from an Emmy for television writing to Grammys for his music and comedy albums to the Kennedy Center Honors for being, well, Steve Martin.
"I do it for myself," he says, "but I do it for them, as well." One senses he was more than ready for fatherhood, as he wrote not one but two kids books before his daughter was born. The memory of his stand-up days makes Martin cringe. And they're seedy, and there's cheap wine and talking and noise." Also, in his youth he suffered from panic attacks and hypochondria. As he jokingly puts it, "I worried all these years that I was going to die, and I never did. His (often humorous) writing was published in the New Yorker, and his musical played Broadway.