Martin Short Then and Now

By / June 23, 2024

Martin Short Then

Martin Short, born on March 26, 1950, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, is the youngest of five children in a musically and professionally accomplished family.

His mother, Olive Hayter, served as the concertmaster for the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, while his father, Charles Patrick Short, was an executive at Stelco, a major Canadian steel company. 

Growing up in Hamilton, Ontario, Short was deeply influenced by his family’s dynamic environment and developed an early passion for entertainment, idolizing the legendary Frank Sinatra.

As a child, Short exhibited a natural flair for performance, often putting on pretend variety shows where he played multiple roles including host, guest, and comedian. 

This early experimentation with performance was further honed within his large and lively Irish Roman Catholic family, where humor and quick wit were essential. 

However, his childhood was marked by a series of profound personal losses, starting with the death of his eldest brother in a car accident when Short was just 12 years old. 

martin short young
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Five years later, he lost his mother to cancer, and at the age of 20, his father died of a stroke. In his 2014 autobiography, I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend, Short reflected on these hardships, noting that enduring such early tragedies endowed him with a resilient “Teflon quality” that helped him withstand emotional challenges.

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Short’s academic journey took him to McMaster University in Hamilton, where he initially pursued a premed curriculum. 

However, he eventually switched his focus and earned a degree in social work. 

Despite this shift, the encouragement from classmates and future comedy stars Eugene Levy and Dave Thomas inspired Short to explore a career in entertainment.

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This decision proved pivotal, as it set him on a path to becoming one of the most beloved figures in comedy.

Martin Short’s early experiences, both joyful and tragic, shaped his unique comedic voice and resilience. 

His ability to transform personal pain into humor and his passion for performance led him to a successful career in entertainment. 

With a career spanning several decades, Short’s journey from Hamilton to Hollywood is a testament to his talent, perseverance, and the enduring influence of his formative years.

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Martin Short Acting Career

Martin Short’s career is a testament to his versatility and enduring comedic talent across various platforms. 

His professional journey began in 1972 when he made his debut as a professional stage actor in a Toronto production of Godspell, alongside future comedy icons Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Gilda Radner, and Victor Garber. 

During this time, Short became romantically involved with Radner, but ultimately married her Godspell understudy, Nancy Dolman.

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The couple adopted three children, marking a significant personal chapter amidst Short’s burgeoning career in entertainment.

In 1977, Short joined the Toronto branch of the Second City improv company, where he honed his comedic skills and developed memorable characters, notably including the beloved Ed Grimley. 

Grimley, with his distinctive appearance and catchphrase “I must say,” became iconic, showcasing Short’s knack for physical comedy and unique characterizations.

martin short career
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His time at Second City paved the way for Short’s transition to television, where he joined the cast of SCTV Network (formerly known as Second City Television) from 1981 to 1982. 

This ensemble comedy series reunited Short with Eugene Levy, Dave Thomas, and other Second City alumni, earning Short an Emmy Award in 1983 for his writing contributions.

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Short’s career reached new heights when he joined Saturday Night Live (SNL) for the 1984-85 season, becoming part of an illustrious cast that included Billy Crystal and Harry Shearer. 

His tenure on SNL was marked by memorable characters and skits, though Short later reflected on the intense pressure and fast-paced nature of the show, which sometimes kept him apart from his family. 

Despite the challenges, Short’s comedic prowess shone through in sketches like the Olympic synchronized swimming skit alongside Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer.

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Beyond SNL, Short’s collaboration with Steve Martin in the film Three Amigos! (1986) marked the beginning of a longstanding friendship and creative partnership. 

Their on-screen chemistry extended to other projects, including the successful Father of the Bride franchise (1991, 1995). 

Short’s filmography includes diverse roles in movies such as Innerspace (1987), Clifford (1994), and Mars Attacks! (1996), and he has lent his voice to animated films like The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Space! (2017) and The Addams Family (2019).

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On Broadway, Short showcased his theatrical talents, winning a Tony Award for his performance in the 1999 musical Little Me and receiving critical acclaim for his roles in The Goodbye Girl (1993) and Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me (2006). 

His ability to transition seamlessly between stage, television, and film underscores his status as a versatile entertainer.

In recent years, Short has continued to captivate audiences with his role in the streaming series Only Murders in the Building (2021), where he stars alongside Steve Martin and Selena Gomez. 

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His portrayal of Oliver Putnam has been praised for injecting humor and humanity into the show, reaffirming Short’s enduring appeal and comedic brilliance.

Martin Short’s career is a testament to his resilience, versatility, and enduring comedic talent, solidifying his place as a beloved figure in entertainment across multiple generations.

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Martin Short Movies

martin short movies list
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  • Lost and Found (1980)
  • I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can (1982)
  • Cross My Heart (1987)
  • Innerspace (1987)
  • Three Amigos! (1986)
  • The Big Picture (1989)
  • The Experts (1989)
  • Pure Luck (1991)
  • Father of the Bride (1991)
  • Captain Ron (1992)
  • Clifford (1994)
  • Father of the Bride Part II (1995)
  • Mars Attacks! (1996)
  • Jungle 2 Jungle (1997)
  • A Simple Wish (1997)
  • The Prince of Egypt (1998) (voice)
  • Alice Through the Looking Glass (1998) (TV Movie)
  • The Prince and the Pauper (1999) (TV Movie)
  • Get Over It (2001)
  • Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001) (voice)
  • Treasure Planet (2002) (voice)
  • Jiminy Glick in Lalawood (2004)
  • The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006)
  • The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)
  • Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil (2011) (voice)
  • Frankenweenie (2012) (voice)
  • Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012) (voice)
  • The Wind Rises (2013) (voice)
  • Inherent Vice (2014)
  • Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (2014) (voice)
  • The Little Prince (2015) (voice)
  • The Willoughbys (2020) (voice)
  • Only Murders in the Building (2021-) (TV Series)
  • Mack & Rita (2022)
  • Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023)

Martin Short’s Wife and Children

Martin Short’s personal life has been marked by profound relationships and familial joys amidst significant challenges. 

His journey began in the early 1970s when he met the talented comedian Gilda Radner during a production of “Godspell” in Toronto. 

Their connection blossomed into a relationship, symbolizing a shared passion for comedy and performance.

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However, it was during this time that Short would also forge a lasting bond with Nancy Dolman, who served as Radner’s understudy in the same production.

In 1980, Martin Short and Nancy Dolman exchanged vows, solidifying their commitment to each other. 

Their marriage was not only a partnership in life but also in parenthood, as they embarked on the journey of adoption together.

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Over the years, the couple welcomed three children into their lives: Katherine, born in 1983, Oliver in 1986, and Henry in 1989. 

Their family grew amidst Martin’s flourishing career, which saw him becoming a beloved figure in comedy on both stage and screen.

Tragically, in August 2010, Nancy Dolman succumbed to ovarian cancer, a devastating loss that deeply impacted Short and their children.

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Nancy’s passing marked a profound moment of grief and reflection for Short, who had shared over three decades of life’s joys and challenges with his beloved wife. 

Despite the loss, Short continued to find strength in his family and his work, navigating the complexities of single parenthood while honoring Nancy’s memory.

In January 2020, Martin Short experienced a new chapter in his family life when he became a grandfather for the first time.

This milestone brought both joy and a sense of continuity to Short’s family, celebrating the next generation and the enduring legacy of love and resilience that Nancy and he instilled in their children. 

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Throughout his career and personal life, Martin Short’s journey has been a testament to love, loss, and the enduring bonds of family, reflecting the highs and lows that shape a life fully lived.

Martin Short Now

martin short age
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At 74 years old, Martin Short continues to be a dynamic force in the entertainment industry, celebrated for his versatility as an actor, comedian, and writer.

Born Martin Hayter Short OC, he holds dual Canadian and American citizenship, reflecting his broad appeal and international acclaim. 

Short first garnered recognition for his vibrant comedic performances, particularly in sketch comedy where his energy and knack for memorable characters made him a standout talent.

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Throughout his career, Short has ventured seamlessly between television, film, and theater, leaving an indelible mark in each domain. 

His comedic timing and ability to transform into various personas have earned him widespread acclaim and numerous accolades. 

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Notably, Short has been honored with two Primetime Emmy Awards for his outstanding contributions to television comedy, underscoring his influence and enduring appeal across different mediums.

In addition to his television work, Short’s filmography is extensive and diverse.

His recent involvement in the 2023 movie “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” highlights his ongoing relevance in blockbuster cinema. 

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Short’s roles in films have ranged from comedic to dramatic, showcasing his versatility and ability to captivate audiences in various genres.

Beyond acting, Martin Short has also made significant contributions as a writer and producer, further solidifying his status as a multifaceted entertainer.

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His creative pursuits have not only entertained but also inspired generations of viewers and fellow performers alike.

With a net worth estimated at $30 million, Short’s financial success underscores his enduring popularity and business acumen within the entertainment industry. 

His ability to sustain a successful career spanning several decades is a testament to his talent, professionalism, and dedication to his craft.

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Martin Short’s continued presence in entertainment, exemplified by his recent projects and ongoing contributions, reinforces his status as a beloved figure and comedic icon. 

As he continues to entertain audiences worldwide, Short’s legacy as a versatile entertainer and cherished personality remains firmly established in the annals of comedy and performance.

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