Comic actor Martin Short has become famous for his ability to disappear within his characters -- so much so that several of them (über-geek Ed Grimley, unctuous chat show host Jiminy Glick, second-string celebrity Jackie Rodgers, Jr., heavily accented wedding planner Franck Eggelhoffer) are probably more easily recognized than the actor who portrayed them. Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, in 1950, Short attended nearby McMaster University, where he received a degree in social work in 1972. However, Short had developed an interest in music and theater while a student, and with the encouragement of his mother (a former musician who had performed with the Hamilton Symphony), Short landed a role in the Toronto production of the musical Godspell the year he received his degree. Toronto's Godspell became a touchstone of Canadian comedy, with the cast including Short, Gilda Radner, Eugene Levy, Dave Thomas, and Andrea Martin, while Paul Shaffer served as musical director. On the advice of friends from McMaster and the Godspell cast, Short continued to act, and joined the cast of Toronto's Second City improvisational comedy troupe in Toronto in 1977. When members of the Toronto Second City company were tapped to appear on the television series SCTV, Short joined the cast in 1983 (but not before appearing on a pair of short-lived American sitcoms).
Short soon moved on to the cast of Saturday Night Live in 1984, and his musical skills came in handy as he periodically appeared in musical numbers on both SCTV and SNL. After leaving SNL, Short went on to a long and successful career in movies and television, but he also found time to pursue his love of the musical theater. In 1993, Short starred in the Broadway musical version of The Goodbye Girl, and in 1998 was cast in the lead of a Broadway revival of Little Me, which earned him a Tony Award. In Los Angeles, Short played Leo Bloom in the first West Coast production of Mel Brooks' The Producers, and also starred in John Patrick Shanley's Four Dogs and a Bone. And in 2006, Short starred in a musical comedy revue, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, which enjoyed a five-month run on Broadway and a successful tour through a number of major American cities. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi