Wow, Martin Emotionally Revealed What Shirley Did For Him When He Was BROKE

Posted On : March 14, 2017
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 13: Actor Martin Lawrence attends the premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Ride Along' at TCL Chinese Theatre on January 13, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)

Check out what Martin revealed about Shirley:

Via Washington Post: Lawrence spent a season on [What’s Happening Now], then it was off the air. “I didn’t get any jobs in acting until ‘Do the Right Thing’ came along,” he says. “But that was a little while. So I went, like, broke.

Publicity still of American actress Shirley Hemphill (1947 - 1999), 1988. (Photo by John D. Kisch/Separate Cinema Archive/Getty Images)
Publicity still of American actress Shirley Hemphill (1947 – 1999), 1988. (Photo by John D. Kisch/Separate Cinema Archive/Getty Images)

“I remember, I was down to maybe a couple hundred dollars in the bank. And Shirley Hemphill called me and asked me how I was doing.” Hemphill had been a star of “What’s Happening Now!!” “She’s very smart, she invested her money, and Shirley’s just a real good woman,” Lawrence says. “She asked me how was I doing. And I said, ‘Not too good. I didn’t know shows get canceled.’ “

What almost brought Martin to tears:

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - APRIL 23: Actor Martin Lawrence atttends The Help Group's 17th Annual Teddy Bear Ball at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 23, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Via WP: He talked of moving in with someone to cut down on living expenses, but Hemphill tried to talk him out of it. “She was like a big sister: ‘I don’t want you moving in with nobody. You need your privacy.’ And the next day I opened my mailbox and she’d sent me $500.” Lawrence pauses. “Just wanted to cry, man. I never forgot it. Never will. Never will.”

When he asked Hemphill how he could pay her back, “she goes, ‘Look, I just want you to help some other young comic out.’ Richard Pryor helped her out. You know what I’m saying? It’s a chain.”

Years Later Martin Returns The Favor

LOS ANGELES - MARCH 4: Actress and comedienne Shirley Hemphill from the TV show 'What's Happening!!' poses for a portrait on March 4, 1975 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

By the mid-90’s Martin was now a household name with his sitcom – just like Shirley was when she helped him out back in the day. Martin proved that Shirley’s extreme act of kindness and the lesson she taught him did not go unnoticed. He made sure Shirley made a guest appearance on his then highly rated show. She appeared in an hilarious Martin episode, portraying the wife of actor, Hawthorne James’ (“Big Red” from The Five Heartbeats) character.

Martin Lawrence said it best, Shirley Hemphill was just a good woman. May she forever rest in peace after the beautiful job she’s done.

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