Kevin Hart (actor)

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Kevin Hart

Hart attends the Chicago premiere of the film Think Like a Man at Showplace Icon Theater in Chicago, Illinois on April 11, 2012
Born(1980-07-03) July 3, 1980 (age 32)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
OccupationActor, comedian
Years active2000–present
Spouse(s)Torrei Hart (m. 2003–11)
ChildrenHeavenly Lee Hart (b. 2006)
Hendrix Hart (b. 2008)
 
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Kevin Hart

Hart attends the Chicago premiere of the film Think Like a Man at Showplace Icon Theater in Chicago, Illinois on April 11, 2012
Born(1980-07-03) July 3, 1980 (age 32)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
OccupationActor, comedian
Years active2000–present
Spouse(s)Torrei Hart (m. 2003–11)
ChildrenHeavenly Lee Hart (b. 2006)
Hendrix Hart (b. 2008)

Kevin Hart (born July 3, 1980)[1] is an American actor and comedian. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Hart started his career by winning several amateur comedy competitions at clubs throughout the New England area, and he got his first real break in 2001 when he was cast by Judd Apatow for a recurring role on the TV series Undeclared. The series only lasted one season, but it was enough for him to get his name out and land other roles in movies like Paper Soldiers, Scary Movie 3, and Along Came Polly. His comedic reputation began to grow with the release of his first stand-up album I'm a Grown Little Man in 2009. This was followed by Seriously Funny in 2010, and in 2011 Laugh at My Pain in 2011, most arguably his most successful stand-up act so far.[2]

Contents

Biography

Early life

Kevin Hart was born on July 3, 1980, in North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has one older brother, Robert Hart, and was raised by his single mother, Nancy, because his father, Henry, was in and out of jail most of his childhood. His father was a cocaine addict, but Kevin used his natural ability to make people laugh as a coping mechanism to deal with his family struggles and to stay out of trouble.[3] His relationship with his father is much better now that he has recovered from his addiction. Kevin said in an interview with the New York Times, “My dad said, ‘I was supposed to be on drugs,’ ” Hart said. “I was like, ‘Dad, shut up,’ but then I thought about it, and it was stupid, but it made sense. He was saying that, basically, he was my example to never go down that road.”[4] After high school, he moved to New York City to attend Community College.[5] He attended college for two years, and after graduating, he lived in Brockton, Massachusetts working as a shoe salesman. It wasn't until he got his first big break, when he performed stand-up at an amateur night club in Philadelphia, that he began pursuing a career as a comedian.[6] Kevin's relationship as a child with his addict-father was almost non-existent, but he's shared this reality with his audiences many times. Now, this relationship is much better, especially since his father has successfully recovered from addiction and taken steps to get his life on track. Kevin has joked about there being positives and negatives to his father's addictive behavior, one positive being that "There is no such thing as a bad idea to a coke-head", but a negative being "when your dad shows up to a spelling bee stoned and roots for it like a sporting competition."[4] Raised by a single parent, Kevin also talks about his mother in his stand-up routine, portraying her as a loving though intimidating woman. In 2006, she passed away from cancer.[4] Showing that humor runs in the family, at her funeral, Kevin's uncle came up to him and said "Kevin, I just want to let you know whoever did this is going to die tonight." Kevin's response was "Cancer did it. It was cancer." To this, his uncle's reply was, "Well, you tell Cancer I'm looking for him, and when I find him, I'm going to shoot him in the face.... twice."[7]

Stand-up career

Kevin's first comedic gig was at the Laff House in Philadelphia under the name of Lil Kev, which didn't go well at all.[4] He went through a slump at first when he was booed off stage several times, and once a man even threw a piece of chicken at him while he was on stage.[8] After a few unsuccessful shows, Kevin began entering comedy competitions throughout Massachusetts and turned his luck around.[5]

It took Kevin some time to develop his own comedic style. After an early period of trying to imitate other comedians like Chris Tucker (the "Rush Hour" star), Kevin found his own rhythm by talking about his own insecurities and his own life experiences. In his own words, "Because of what I do, it has to be an open book,” he said. “But right now this is a book that is being written."[8]

Kevin draws his inspiration from role model comedians like fellow Philadelphian Bill Cosby, Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy, and Dave Chappelle.[8] He has tried to combine the best qualities of all these men into his own act. "When you talk about your flaws, people gravitate towards you," Hart said in an interview with Rolling Stone, "I'm just not that manly-man." This humble way of thinking may be somewhat attributed to his short stature, since Kevin stands only five-foot-four.[9] His humility and his strong work-ethic are two main reasons for his success.[2]

Kevin's comedy tours began in 2009 with his act entitled "I'm a Grown Little Man", followed by "Seriously Funny" in 2010, "Laugh At My Pain" in 2011, and most recently, his special called "Let Me Explain" in early 2012.[4] Hart grossed over $15 million from "Laugh At My Pain", which made it one of the year's top-selling tours.[3] Kevin also has a game available through iTunes download on the iPod and iPad called "Little Jumpman". It is a platform game where the objective is to jump higher and higher. His Facebook page, Twitter account, and Youtube channel are all connected to and accessible through this app.[6]

Personal life

In 2003, Kevin married Torrie Hart and they had two children, Heaven Leigh and Hendrix. In February 2010, the couple filed for divorce over "irreconcilable differences." Hart requested joint custody and looked to prevent Torrie from receiving money in the divorce, due to the fact that she is a comedian herself with a sufficient income to support herself. The pair's relationship troubles have made their way into both of their stand-up acts. Even though rude remarks were made about one another over the course of the divorce, Kevin says there are no hard feelings, "We just didn't work out, but we're friends."[10]

Awards and honors

Kevin has appeared in several notable gigs outside of his stand-up career and the big screen. In 2012, Kevin was voted MVP of the NBA Celebrity All-star game, regardless of the fact he was ejected in the fourth quarter for cursing at the ref and taking off one of his shoes and throwing the other across the court. He had eight points and six assists in the game.[11] Kevin also hosted the 2012 VMA Awards, sponsored by MTV. His long time friend Judd Apatow, who was the director that gave him his first big break on-screen with the TV series Undeclared, was the one who recommended him for the gig.[9] Stephen Friedman, the MTV president, said that it’s “that combination of being intimately connected and yet still a little bit like, ‘Oh, my God, what am I doing here? That allows our audience to have a really powerful connection to someone that feels more like a friend, versus someone who’s a distant talent up on the stage.” Kevin hopes that this will project him further into the hosting career, “Hopefully after MTV, of course we’re talking Emmys, Oscars, whatever.”[4] In 2005, he was nominated for the BET Platinum Mic Viewers Choice Award. In 2012, Kevin walked away with a Best Actor trophy from BET for his performance in the box office hit movie Think Like A Man.

Filmography

Film
YearFilmRoleNotes


2002Paper SoldiersShawn
2003Scary Movie 3CJ
Death of a DynastyP-Diddy / Cop 1 / Dance Coach / Hyper Rapper / H. Lector
2004Along Came PollyVic
Soul PlaneNashawn Wade
2005The 40 Year Old VirginSmart Tech Customer
In The MixBusta
2006Scary Movie 4CJ
2006The Last StandF Stop/G Spot
2007Epic MovieSilas
2008Fool's GoldBigg Bunny
Superhero MovieTrey
Extreme MovieBarry
Meet DaveNumber 17
Drillbit TaylorPawn Shop Dealer
2009Party DownDro Grizzle
Not Easily BrokenTree
Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of FireZezelryck
I'm A Grown Little ManHimself
2010Something Like a BusinessJoJo
Death at a FuneralBrian
Little FockersNurse Louis
Seriously FunnyHimself
201135 and TickingCleavon
Let GoKris Styles
The Precious OnePrecious McKenzie
Laugh at My PainHimself
2012The Five-Year EngagementDoug
Think Like a ManCedricTeen Choice Award for Choice Hissy Fit
Exit StrategyMannequin Head Man
Let Me ExplainHimself
This Is the EndHimself
TV Shows/Program
YearShowRole
2001North Hollywood (movie)Himself
2002Class of '06 (movie)Tony
2002UndeclaredLuke
2004The Big HouseKevin
2005Dante (movie)
2005BarbershopJames Ricky
2005Jake In ProgressNugget Dawson
2006Love, Inc.James
2006Help Me Help YouKevin
2007The Weekend (movie)Miles
2007All of UsGreg
2009Party DownDro Grizzle
2009Kröd Mändoon and The Flaming Sword of FireZezelryck
2010CubedSecurity Guard
2011Untitled Burr and Hart Project (movie)
2011Little in Common (movie)Ty Burleson
2011Modern FamilyAndre
2013Real Husbands of HollywoodKevin

[12]

References

  1. ^ "Kevin Hart". Yahoo!. http://movies.yahoo.com/person/kevin-hart/. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  2. ^ a b Cummings, Jozen. "Career Breakdown: Kevin Hart's Long, Complicated, Hit-and-Miss-and-Hit-Again Path to Stardom". Grantland. ESPN Internet Ventures. http://www.grantland.com/blog/hollywood-prospectus/post/_/id/48039/career-breakdown-kevin-harts-long-complicated-hit-and-miss-and-hit-again-path-to-stardom. Retrieved 05 October 2012.
  3. ^ a b Pullen, Doug (18 October 2012). "Kevin who? Comedian Kevin Hart's soaring career emerges from under the radar". El Paso Times. http://www.elpasotimes.com/entertainment/ci_20284503. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Itzkoff, Dave (18 October 2012). "Life Sends Lemons? Make Comedy". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/02/arts/television/kevin-hart-learns-to-tell-the-truth.html?pagewanted=all&_moc.semityn.www&_r=1&. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  5. ^ a b Johnson, Keosha. "TheGrio's 100: Kevin Hart, Philly comedian sees the humor in life experiences". NBC. http://thegrio.com/2012/01/31/2012-kevin-hart/#46203731. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  6. ^ a b "About Kevin Hart". Comedy Central. http://www.comedycentral.com/comedians/kevin-hart. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Kevin Hart: Mother's Funeral". Comedy Central. http://www.comedycentral.com/jokes/vq7ah5/stand-up-kevin-hart--kevin-hart--mother-s-funeral. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  8. ^ a b c Gomez, Luis (18 October 2012). "Interview: Kevin Hart not shy about past flubs". Chicago Tribune. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-01-22/entertainment/chi-interview-kevin-hart-chicago-20120122_1_kevin-hart-q-a-session-soul-plane. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  9. ^ a b Weiner, Jonah (31). "VMA 2012 Host Kevin Hart Is Judd Apatow's Favorite Vertically Challenged Comic". Rolling Stone (Rolling Stone's Big Issue). http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/vma-2012-host-kevin-hart-is-judd-apatows-favorite-vertically-challenged-comic-20120808. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  10. ^ "Kevin Hart Divorce: Talks Split On 'The Rosie Show'". Huffington Post. 20 January 2012. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/20/kevin-hart-divorce_n_1219934.html. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  11. ^ James, Michael. "Kevin Hart ejected from NBA Celeb Game, still named MVP". Holdout Sports. http://www.holdoutsports.com/2012/02/kevin-hart-ejected-from-nba-all-star.html. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  12. ^ "Kevin Hart: Actor". Amazon.com. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0366389/. Retrieved 22 October 2012.