Martin Hewitt (actor)
February 19, 1958 |
San Jose, California, U.S.A.
|Years active||1979 — Present|
|Spouse(s)||Kerstin Gneiting (1990 - present)|
Early life and education
Hewitt was born on February 19, 1958 in San Jose, California. He is the second oldest of six children to Peter and Heather Hewitt. Peter Hewitt is a retired owner of a medical-equipment manufacturing firm.
Hewitt attended Claremont High School. Hewitt first acted at age 14 in a school production of The King and I. He studied business at a community college before switching to theater. Hewitt got into acting after high school, studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, at the time in Pasadena, California.
While enrolled in a drama program and working as a shoe salesman, Hewitt saw an ad for an open call for a film directed by Franco Zeffirelli and beat out 5,000 actors for the male lead. "Of course, my head swelled up like crazy," he says. "Franco, who is very paternal, fed my ego so that I would be very confident." Hewitt spoke highly of his co-star, Brooke Shields. "She treated me like a friend," he says. During filming in New York City, she invited Hewitt to spend the weekend at her house in New Jersey, where they played board games.
Hewitt confessed that while he found Shields quite alluring, it was impossible to fall for her because she was too young. "It would have been easier if I had been making love to someone a little older," Hewitt explained. "Because she was 15 at the time and I was 19, I realized that I couldn't really get lost in the scene. She being such a young girl made it difficult." Hewitt confessed that he was at first terrified of co-starring with Shields because of her sex symbol status towards younger generations at the time. He had to force himself to think of her as any other girl in order to carry out his acting job. "I decided it didn't matter that she was famous," he said. "She's still human and it doesn't make her any better than anyone else. I felt that I had to treat her like a normal kid." Despite their intimate scenes and the months of working together, Hewitt and Shields remained just friends.
Later acting career
"I started at the top. My first professional acting role was in a starring role in a Universal Studios film," he said. "I didn't even get the chance to get my feet wet. So after that film, it was sort of a downward path."
After appearing in his second film, Yellowbeard (1983), Hewitt spent the 1980s shooting forgettable B movies and doing the occasional TV guest spot. Hewitt was doing straight-to-video flicks including Crime Lords (1991), Carnal Crimes (1991) and Night Rhythms (1992). He eventually left show business.
"I was kind of surprised that I didn't hear his name much after that," says Yellowbeard director Melvin Damski. "He was a talented kid." "Now, I do theater locally, which is fun and I love it," Hewitt said. "And I'm making better money now with my business than I was acting. Being an actor is a full-time job looking for work."
Life after acting
"I really don't miss it," he says of his brief Hollywood heyday. "I've got my own company. I have a nice house in a nice area. I've got it all as far as I'm concerned." 
"Any time an agent would call and say, 'We want you to read for this,' " he says, "I'd go, 'Man, I've got an inspection.'" Still, he hasn't quite shaken the acting bug. "It would be nice," says his wife, "if he had something more for his artistic outlet." According to People, Hewitt learned of an ad asking if anyone knew where he was. Some filmmakers, it turned out, thought he would be perfect for a lead role in a movie about drugged-out gay prostitutes in West Hollywood. "It was kind of scary," he says with a laugh. "I politely declined."
At the time of filming Endless Love, Hewitt was involved with another girl who was sharing an apartment with him in Hollywood. Though they were never romantically involved in real life, Hewitt and Shields had one off-screen date - he took her out to dinner and a movie. "It was pretty much a working relationship," he said. "She is such a busy person that unless she was on the set, I didn't see much of her during filming."
While Hewitt was filming Crime Lords in South Africa in 1989, he met German-born flight attendant Kerstin Gneiting, whom he married in 1990. Their two children are daughter Guinevere and son Cailean. His wife is now a county health inspector.
- Endless Love (1981)
- Yellowbeard (1983)
- Killer Party (1986)
- The Falling (1987)
- Two Moon Junction (1988)
- Ground Zero (2000)
- Martin Hewitt biography at The New York Times
- Dam, Julie K.L. (30 October 2000). "Handy Man". People. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- Bolinger, Brenda (22 June 2012). "On to fame and fortune (and prison): CHS alumni in the public spotlight". Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- Jones, Terril Yue (8 July 2006). "Class of '76 Got Chatty". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- MacNab, Kitty (15 December 1981). "'I didn't enjoy those sizzling sex scenes with Brooke,' says costar". Weekly World News. Retrieved 16 April 2015.