Andrea Martin

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This article is about the actress and comedian. For other uses, see Andrea Martin (disambiguation).
Andrea Martin
Martin in June 2008
Born Andrea Louise Martin
(1947-01-15) January 15, 1947 (age 68)
Portland, Maine, U.S.
Occupation Actress/Comedian/Singer
Years active 1969–present
Spouse(s) Bob Dolman (m. 1980–1984; divorced; 2 children)

Andrea Louise Martin (born January 15, 1947) is an American actress and comedian.[1][2] She has appeared in films such as Black Christmas, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, on stage in productions such as the 2013 revival of Pippin for which she won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, My Favorite Year, Fiddler on the Roof and Candide, and in the television series SCTV.

Personal life[edit]

Martin was born in Portland, Maine,[3] in 1947, eldest of three children born to Sybil A. (née Manoogian) and John Papazian Martin.[4] Her paternal grandparents were Armenian immigrants who moved to the U.S. from Turkey to escape the Armenian Genocide.[5][6][7] Her maternal grandparents were Armenians from Yerevan and Istanbul.[8] Her father owned Martin's Foods, a grocery store chain.[9]

She has two sons, Jack (born ca. 1981) and Joe (born 1983),[10] with ex-husband Bob Dolman, a screenwriter. Through this marriage, she was the sister-in-law of actress Nancy Dolman and her husband Martin Short.[11]

Though her success in Canadian television and theatre and familial ties to Canada might lead the public to assume she is Canadian, Martin is an American citizen. Her two sons have dual Canadian-American status due to their father's Canadian cititzenship.[12]


Soon after graduating from Emerson College, she won a role in a touring company of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown. After frequent visits to Toronto, she relocated from New York City to Toronto in 1970 and immediately found steady theater work.

In 1972, she played the character of Robin in a Toronto production of Godspell, with a company that included future stars Gilda Radner, Martin Short, Eugene Levy, Victor Garber, and musical director Paul Shaffer.[13] Two of her early film appearances were in 1973's Cannibal Girls and, in 1974, as the bookish sorority sister Phyllis in Black Christmas, a Canadian slasher film.

In 1976, she joined then-unknowns John Candy, Dave Thomas, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Harold Ramis and Joe Flaherty on the Canadian sketch comedy television series, SCTV, which was set at fictional television station "Second City Television", or SCTV, in Melonville. Martin most notably portrayed leopard-print-wearing station manager Edith Prickley, whose dealings with the staff, including president/owner Guy Caballero, clueless newscaster Earl Camembert, and washed-up actor Johnny LaRue, helped to provide much of the show's humor. Her other memorable characterizations included repressed sexologist Dr. Cheryl Kinsey, insecure self-affirmation guru Libby Wolfson, pidgin-tongued janitress Pirini Scleroso, tone-deaf children's entertainer Mrs. Falbo, Texan curio pitchwoman Edna Boil, and impossibly tight-jeaned Melba, the Disco Queen. Her talent for impersonation was key in her humorous portrayals of such luminaries as Barbra Streisand, Ethel Merman, Arlene Francis, Pauline Kael, Sally Field, Sophia Loren, Beverly Sills, Lynn Redgrave, Linda Lavin, Bernadette Peters, Liza Minnelli, Connie Francis, Mother Teresa, Joni Mitchell, Alice B. Toklas, Patti Smith, Brenda Vaccaro and Indira Gandhi.[14]

Her 1970s stage work eventually included the Toronto branch of the improvisational comedy troupe The Second City, a group which produced almost the entire cast of SCTV. In 1992, she made her Broadway debut in the musical My Favorite Year, for which she won the Tony Award, Theatre World Award, and Drama Desk Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Additional Broadway credits include Candide (1997) and Oklahoma! (2002)—both of which brought her Tony nominations—and Fiddler on the Roof (2005). She appeared in the Broadway premiere of Young Frankenstein (2007) as Frau Blucher, leaving the cast on July 6, 2008.[15]

Martin starred alongside Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon in the Broadway revival of Exit the King which played at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre from March 7 to June 14, 2009.[16] She wrote and performed in the critically acclaimed one-woman show Nude, Nude, Totally Nude in Los Angeles and New York City,[17] receiving a 1996 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One Person Show.

Other theater credits include the leads in The Rose Tattoo and Betty's Summer Vacation, both produced at The Huntington Theatre in Boston. During the winter of 2012–2013, she played Berthe, Pippin's grandmother, in the American Repertory Theater production of Pippin in Cambridge, Massachusetts, singing the classic song "No Time At All".[18] The show transferred to Broadway at the Music Box Theatre and opened in April 2013. For Pippin Martin won both the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical and the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Martin's last performance as Berthe in the Broadway production of Pippin was on September 22, 2013. She appears on Broadway in the new play written and directed by James Lapine, Act One, which opened in April 2014.[19]

Martin has played Wanda the Word Fairy in numerous short segments on Sesame Street She appeared on Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show episode from Season 5 (1988) titled "UNICEF". She also appeared on Kate & Allie as the executive producer of a low-rated cable channel. Star Trek fans may recognize her as one of two actresses to play Ishka, Quark's iconoclastic mother on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. For her role, she was made up to appear as an older woman although in reality Martin is less than three years older than Armin Shimerman, who played Quark. She only played the role of Ishka once—finding the prosthetics involved to be uncomfortable, Martin declined to return, and Cecily Adams was hired to play Ishka in all future appearances.

She has won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program in 1982 and 1983. She has done considerable voice work in such animated film and television productions such as Anastasia, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Rugrats as Aunt Miriam, The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue as Muriel - Floyd's Wife, The Simpsons (as Apu's mother), Recess as Lunchlady Harriet, the 1999 version of The Woody Woodpecker Show, Earthworm Jim, Kim Possible, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Brother Bear 2. She also appeared in the 1993 television adaptation of Gypsy starring Bette Midler.

Her many screen credits include All Over the Guy in which she played Dan Bucatinsky's Mom, Club Paradise, Wag the Dog, All I Want for Christmas, Worth Winning, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Stepping Out, The Producers, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding, in which she portrayed Aunt Voula, a role she reprised in the short-lived small-screen adaptation. In 2006, she played a major role in the remake of Black Christmas. She played Helaine in the 2009 break-out independent film Breaking Upwards. In the episode titled Pupil, she played an emergency room patient on the Showtime series, Nurse Jackie, which was aired July 27, 2009. In 2012, She provided the voice of Penny in the American Dad episode "Stan's Best Friend" and appeared in an episode of 30 Rock titled "My Whole Life Is Thunder."

She recently starred in the Canadian sitcom Working the Engels. [20]

Published works[edit]


  1. ^ "Andrea Martin Biography", accessed August 31, 2011
  2. ^ "Andrea Martin Listing" TV Guide, accessed August 31, 2011
  3. ^ "Secretary of State's Kids Page: Famous People from Maine, Andrea Martin" State of, accessed August 31, 2011
  4. ^ Routher, Ray."Doing OK"Maine Sunday Telegram (Portland, Maine) (abstract), April 28, 2002, p1E
  5. ^ Hoey, Dennis."Obituary:John P. Martin"Portland Press, November 15, 2010
  6. ^ Wadler, Joyce."Boldface Names: Today He Would Have His Own Show on Fox"The New York Times, January 26, 2005
  7. ^ Alicia Anstead (March 3, 2005). "Andrea Martin". Bangor Daily News. Archived from the original on February 2, 2007. 
  8. ^ "Sybil A. Martin"Portland Press Herald (ME) (abstract), January 19, 1995, p.11B
  9. ^ Intini, John."Andrea Martin finishes the sentences", March 16, 2005
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Biography" InternetMovieDatabae, accessed August 31, 2011
  12. ^ Henderson, Kathy."Andrea Martin", December 17, 2007
  13. ^ [1], accessed August 16, 2014
  14. ^ "Andrea Martin Characters and Impersonations", accessed August 31, 2011
  15. ^ Gans, Andrew and Jones, Kenneth."Leavel Will Join Young Frankenstein a Week Early", July 7, 2008
  16. ^ Gans, Andrew."Ambrose and Martin Will Join Rush and Sarandon in Broadway's Exit the King", January 15, 2009
  17. ^ Brantley, Ben."Theater Review;Overly Fond of Food and Doris Day, for Starters"The New York Times, April 5, 1996
  18. ^ Pippin
  19. ^ Hetrick, Adam and Gioia, Michael. Act One, Stage Adaptation of Moss Hart's Theatrical Memoir, Opens on Broadway April 17", April 17, 2014
  20. ^ "Andrea Martin to star in new Global sitcom ‘Working the Engels’". Yahoo! Canada, August 28, 2013.

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