Does Martin Lawrence Have Bipolar Disorder?

This Famous Stand-Up Is Rumored to Have Bipolar Disorder

Martin Lawrence
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Martin Lawrence was born April 16, 1965, in Frankfurt, Germany, where his father was stationed in the Air Force. He is one of six children; brother Robert Lawrence is also an actor. He and his siblings grew up in Maryland where his mother settled after his parents split when he was 8 years old.

During his teenage years Lawrence excelled at boxing. He was even a Mid-Atlantic Golden Gloves contender.

He considered pursuing it professionally until a broken eye forced him to give it up. Lawrence showed comedic prowess from an early age. He was the class clown, which resulted in one teacher agreeing to let him do a 5 minute standup routine for the class in exchange for not being disruptive.

Early Comedy Career

After high school he found his way to New York City and familiarized himself with the comedy circuit. He achieved mainstream success after starring in his own hit TV series "Martin," which aired from 1992 to 1997. In addition to starring as the show's title character, Lawrence also lent his superior comedic talents as other characters. "Martin" was a remarkable showcase for the comic's abilities, and it also featured early appearances from Tracy Morgan, Reno Wilson and Charlie Murphy.

Regarding Bipolar Disorder

It's been rumored that Lawrence has bipolar disorder, and understandably so.

Lawrence has certainly been in the center of his fair share of dramatic scenarios that aren't uncommon for those who have bipolar disorder. Lawrence first started experiencing recurring physical and mental problems in 1995 when he was hospitalized due to erratic behavior while filming "A Thin Line Between Love and Hate," which he also directed.

Some of his more high-profile incidents include a sexual harassment suit filed by former "Martin" costar Tisha Campbell, attempting to board a plane with a gun and slipping into a 3-day coma after running in 100 degree heat while wearing heavy clothing.

However, Lawrence's lowest point likely occurred in 1996 after he was hospitalized when police found him standing at a busy Los Angeles intersection, high and yelling at passing cars, all with a loaded gun in his pocket. Lawrence has acknowledged the fact that mental illness might have played a part in these high-profile situations, but he's continued to deny rumors that he has bipolar disorder.

Personal Life

In 1995 he married Patricia Southall, a former Miss Virginia; they divorced in September 1996. Lawrence and Southall have a daughter, Jasmine Page, born January 15, 1996. In 1997 Lawrence began dating Shamicka Gibbs; they wed in 2010 but divorced two years later. The two have two daughters: Iyanna Faith, born November 9, 2000, and Amara Trinity, born August 20, 2002.

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