Steve Martin: Maturity, Fatherhood, & Finding Happiness

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At the age of 67, Steve Martin became a father for the first time. Now at the age 71, he says that being a dad to a 4-year-old…well, “it’s fantastic.” In an interview with AARP The Magazine earlier this summer, he explained, “…If I’d had a child earlier, I would have been a lousy father, because I would have misplaced my attention on my career.” The actor/comedian together with his wife, 45-year-old Anne Stringfield, welcomed their baby girl in 2013, and he’s of the mindset that he won’t be making the same mistakes his dad did.

Born in Waco, Texas, in 1945, Martin recalled his own father as being proud but critical, and emotionally distant. Throughout his teen years, he identified having feelings of hatred for his dad as a result. With his own child, he’s done things differently. “I am very forthcoming with her, and it’s great,” he said. “She’s giving me way more than I’m giving her.”

Shared on the Movieclips YouTube channel, Martin’s role in “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” alongside John Candy, has been one of the highlights of his film and comedy career, staying in the top 10 in theaters for 12 weeks, and earning over $49.5 million. Describing his life now as one which is “very, very happy…”, he suffered from hypochondria and panic attacks in his younger years, noting that there was a sense of “…disharmony, panic, pain, with occasional moments of great moments and comedy success.” His journey to success and eventually happiness professionally and personally wasn’t easy. Although his fans adored his standup, he revealed to the magazine that performing in clubs was always stressful and that recalling the memories of those times will still make him cringe even to this day.

Maturing has had great benefits for the star. He’s since overcome his panic attacks and hypochondria, noting, “I was worried all these years that I was going to die, and I never did. So why waste all that worry?” He also has acknowledged that it took him a while to recognize that fame isn’t what makes a person successful, nor personally fulfilled, identifying, “It’s been a gentle up-hill slope to a real, real happiness.” It seems over time, Martin’s found his own key to personal happiness at 71. Some don’t get that opportunity.

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