Martin Hewitt (actor)

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For other people with the same name, see Martin Hewitt (disambiguation).
Martin Hewitt
Born (1958-02-19) February 19, 1958 (age 59)
San Jose, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1979–present
Height 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Spouse(s) Kerstin Hewitt

Martin Hewitt (born February 19, 1958 in San Jose, California) is an American actor. He is best known for his film debut as David Axelrod in Franco Zeffirelli's Endless Love (1981).

Early life and education[edit]

Martin Hewitt was born on February 19, 1958 in San Jose, California.[1] 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.[2] Hewitt's early years were spent in California, England, Belgium, and Michigan.[3]

Hewitt attended Claremont High School.[4] 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.[2] After receiving an AA degree in Theater Arts, Hewitt studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, in Pasadena, California.[3][5]

Career[edit]

Endless Love[edit]

While enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena, CA and working as bartender and valet car park/parking lot attendant, Hewitt saw an ad for an open call for a film directed by Franco Zeffirelli and beat out 5,000 actors, including Tom Cruise and Timothy Hutton, for the male lead. Hewitt had originally envisioned a Shakespearean career, but suddenly he was starring opposite Brooke Shields in Franco Zeffirelli's Endless Love, a 1981 forbidden teen romance film.[5] According to Hewitt, "Some people actually wrote that I was discovered in a parking lot."[6]

"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.[2][3][6][7]

Hewitt garnered mostly neutral reviews for his portrayal of David Axelrod. Variety commented that "Since he’s center stage most of the time, it’s fortunate that newcomer Martin Hewitt registers so strongly. Zeffirelli has dressed and photographed his find almost in the style of some of his mentor Luchino Visconti’s neo-realist heroes, with two-day beard growths and anachronistic Clark Gable undershirts."[8] Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote that Hewitt "has neither the resources nor the opportunity to convey much about how David's mind works, even though this is what the story hinges on."[9] Nevertheless, Hewitt said, "I don't care what anyone says; I am proud of that film."[6]

Later acting career[edit]

"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."[5]

After appearing in his second film, Yellowbeard (1983), in which he portrayed the son of Graham Chapman's character, Hewitt spent the 1980s shooting forgettable B movies and doing the occasional TV guest spot.[2][10] Of the films he appeared in during the '80s included: April Fool, later to be titled Killer Party (1986); The Falling (1987); and Two Moon Junction (1988).[6][11][12][13] In the latter film, he portrayed Chad, the fiance of Sherilyn Fenn's character.[14][15] Hewitt previously worked with Fenn in Out Of Control (1985).[16] Hewitt had also done straight-to-video flicks including Crime Lords (1991), Carnal Crimes (1991) and Night Rhythms (1992).[2][5] He eventually left show business.[5]

"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."[2]

Life after acting[edit]

Branching out into home inspection to help pay the bills, he opened his own company in 1993.[2] "Any time my agent would call and say, 'We want you to read for this,' " he says, "I'd go, 'Man, I've got an inspection.'"As of 2015, Hewitt still owns his home inspection service in San Luis Obispo, California.[5][17]

"I really don't miss it," he says of his brief Hollywood heyday. "I've got my own company. I live in a great area. I have great kids. I surf every other day. I've got it all as far as I'm concerned."[2] Still, he hasn't quite shaken the acting bug. According to People, Hewitt learned of an industry 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 wasn't for me", he says with a laugh. "I politely declined." [2]

Personal life[edit]

Hewitt has confirmed that he and Shields were never romantically involved in real life, stating that they "became good friends, but we're not close."[18] Shields later vouched for this in her 2014 memoir, There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me. "Martin and I got along well and enjoyed working with one another. We neither fell in love nor hated each other...All we were required to do was convince people we were in love. This approach freed us both up to become actual friends."[19]

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.[2] Their marriage was dissolved in 2014.[citation needed]

"[Endless Love] touched a lot of people," he says, citing an Italian man who has continuously sent letters pronouncing him the love of his life. "I still get some pretty funky fan mail."[2]

Hewitt currently resides in Los Osos, California.[2]

Age[edit]

It was originally believed that Hewitt was born in 1961: according to a 1980 article published by the Chicago Tribune, his age was listed as 19;[20] according to a 1981 article published by People, his age was listed as 20;[18] and according to a 1983 article published by The Daily Courier, his age was listed as 22.[3] In 2000, another article was published by People confirming his age as 42, thus implying he was born in 1958.[2]

Selected filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Martin Hewitt biography at The New York Times Archived January 19, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Dam, Julie K.L. (30 October 2000). "Handy Man". People. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d Lenaburg, Eric (30 September 1983). "After instant stardom, it's back to class". The Daily Courier. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  4. ^ Bolinger, Brenda (22 June 2012). "On to fame and fortune (and prison): CHS alumni in the public spotlight". Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Jones, Terril Yue (8 July 2006). "Class of '76 Got Chatty". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d Broeske, Pat H. (10 August 1986). "Summer Stars". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  7. ^ Mell, Eila (2005). Casting Might-Have-Beens: A Film by Film Directory of Actors Considered for Roles Given to Others. McFarland. ISBN 9781476609768. 
  8. ^ "ENDLESS LOVE". Variety. 31 December 1980. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  9. ^ Maslin, Janet (17 July 1981). "BROOKE SHIELDS IN ZEFFIRELLI'S 'ENDLESS LOVE'". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  10. ^ Rabin, Nathan (9 July 2008). "My Year Of Flops Case File #113, Ask The A.V. Club Crossover Edition: Yellowbeard". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  11. ^ Hollywood.com
  12. ^ "Reel news...". Chicago Tribune. 12 December 1984. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  13. ^ Briggs, Joe Bob (1 June 1986). "No Horror Here Death Toll Narrowly Saves 'Killer Party'". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  14. ^ Thomas, Kevin (2 May 1988). "Movie Reviews : 'Junction' of Love, Reality". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  15. ^ Kehr, Dave (29 April 1988). "`Two Moon Junction` Romantic But Kinky". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  16. ^ Harris, Will (22 January 2014). "Sherilyn Fenn talks David Lynch and how Twin Peaks should have ended". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  17. ^ O'Dwyer, Erin (30 November 2014). "Brooke Shields: "My mother loved me, but the bottle always won."". Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  18. ^ a b McMurran, Kristin (10 August 1981). "Brooke & John: Just Buddies?". People. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  19. ^ Shields, Brooke (2014). There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me. Penguin. ISBN 9780698186231. 
  20. ^ Smith, Liz (23 November 1980). "Moguls' blood boiling over murder story". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 

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