Who is Duane Martin?

An actor with more than 40 acting credits to his name, Duane Martin gained fame playing Robert James Senior in the sitcom “All of Us”, which besides popularity brought him a nomination for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series, in 2007.

Although known for his acting skills, Duane has often been the subject of various affairs and speculations. More about his life, his career, and the controversies he’s been involved in you’ll find in this article.

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Early life, family, and education

Born Duane Daniel Martin under the zodiac sign of Leo on 11 August 1965, he’ll soon celebrate his 58th birthday. A native of Brooklyn, New York City USA, he holds American nationality and his ethnicity is African-American. He was raised by his parents, about whom nothing is known as he respects their privacy. Duane hasn’t spoken about siblings, thus many believe that he’s an only child.

When it comes to his educational background, Duane attended a local high school, and upon matriculating in 1983, enrolled at New York University from which he graduated with a BA degree, in 1987. While at college, Duane played basketball for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III. In 1989, as an undrafted free agent, he was signed to a non-guaranteed contract with the New York Knicks, an American professional basketball team in the National Basketball Association (NBA). However, Duane never actually played in the NBA.

Roles in movies

Duane made his acting debut as Steve in the 1990 TV movie “Moe’s World”, followed by his role as Willie Lewis in the 1992 comedy “White Men Can’t Jump”, starring Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson. Two years later, Duane was cast to play Kyle Lee Watson in the sports crime-drama “Above the Rim”, in which he starred opposite Tupac Shakur in the story about a promising high school basketball star – written and directed by Jeff Pollack, although had just one award nomination, was one of the most popular movies back in the ‘90s.

Duane was next seen as Jackson in the 1996 comedy “Down Periscope”, followed by his roles in “Fakin’ Da Funk” (1997), “Woo” (1998), and “Any Given Sunday” (1999).

The early 2000s saw Duane as Phil in the comedy “What Boys Like” (2003) before his movie “The Seat Filler” from 2004, which he co-wrote with Tisha Campbell and Mark Brown. Duane played the lead role as Derrick in this musical romantic comedy about a pop superstar, Jnelle, who falls in love with Derrick who was an audience member at a music awards show. What she doesn’t realize is that he’s a struggling law student, not a business executive.

Later that year, Duane played Mike in the comedy “Deliver Us from Eva”, which brought him the BET Comedy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Box Office Movie.

After more than a decade, Duane was seen as Duane Shakir in the 2015 romantic drama “Sister Code”, which was his most recent movie role.

Roles in series

Duane made his first TV series appearance in an episode of the series “Against the Law” in 1991. In the following year, Duane was seen as Jordan in an episode of the series “CBS Schoolbreak Special” which earned him a nomination for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Special.

Later in 1992, he landed the role of Vidal Thomas in the comedy “Out All Night”, which aired until 1993, and he was seen in all 19 episodes, co-starring with Vivica A. Fox, Morris Chestnut, and Patti LaBelle.

In the following years, he guest-starred in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (1995) and “Living Single” (1997) before he was cast to play Milo Doucette in the 1998 comedy series “Getting Personal”, in which he again starred opposite Vivica A. Fox.

The early 2000s saw Duane mostly playing guest roles, in “Girlfriends” (2000), “One on One” (2001), and “Yes, Dear” (2002) before he was cast to play his most significant role to date, as Robert James Senior in “All of Us”. The show aired from 2003 through 2007, and the creators of the show, Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, announced the fifth season set to premiere in November 2023.

The series follows the story of a divorced TV entertainment reporter, Robert James, his son Bobby, his ex-wife Neesee, and his fiancée Tia. Robert finds himself in a difficult situation trying to maintain the peace, however uneasy. This sitcom had 12 award nominations, including the aforementioned Duane received, while this role also brought him a nomination for the BET Comedy Award- Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

Late in the decade, Duane portrayed Chuck DeShannon in the series “Rita Rocks” in 2009, and was then seen as Fernando in “The Paul Reiser Show” in 2011. Next, he was Louil Silas in the 2017 TV mini-series “The New Edition Story”, a biographic drama about the ups and downs of a music group called New Edition, which had 11 award nominations and seven wins.

During 2019 and 2020, Duane played Ben Baines in the crime drama “L. A.’s Finest”, also starring Jessica Alba and Gabrielle Union. The show was the spin-off from the movie franchise “Bad Boys”. Most recently, Duane played Steven Lewis in the 2022 series “Bel-Air”, which was nominated for the Image Award for Outstanding Drama Series.

Why he divorced Tisha Campbell?

Back in 1996, at the height of her popularity, Tisha Campbell met her future husband, Duane. The two started dating almost immediately, and he proposed to her. They married on 17 August 1996, and their first son, Xen Waheed Martin was born on 8 August 2001. The couple welcomed their second boy they named Ezekiel Czar Martin on 8 September 2009. The family of four lived a seemingly happy life in their residence in Los Angeles, California.

On 22 February 2018, through her Twitter post, Trisha announced that she’d filed for divorce. Many were surprised by the news, since the couple was one of those who always smiled and hugged in public, and nothing indicated that they had problems in their marriage.

Their divorce was finalized on 16 December 2020, and although they haven’t disclosed what the reason for their separation was, there have been various rumors and speculations. Allegedly, Duane was abusive, and Trisha asked for a restraining order against him. Reportedly, Trisha has endured years of domestic abuse at the hands of Duane, however, she chose to keep quiet for their children’s protection.

Will Smith Story- What happened?

As many know, Duane and Will Smith have been friends for years, and Will was Duane’s best man at the wedding. The two often work together, and Trisha’s Instagram post made people think about what is really behind that friendship.

There have been rumors about Will Smith and his sexuality, and Trisha’s post made people assume that Will and Duane had an affair, a so-called ‘bromance’. According to reports, even Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, was jealous of the relationship the two guys had. Allegedly, Will and Duane would often travel together, visiting exotic places, and Jada and Trisha would stay home with the children.

Duane and Will would frequently share their joint photos on their social media accounts, and people noticed their close bond. Perhaps this sparked rumors of an ongoing ‘bromance’, and Trisha’s post and gossip publications garnered more attention on these speculations.

Both Duane and Will have consistently denied the rumors about their alleged relationship.

How rich is Duane Martin?

According to critics, Duane is an actor with a modest career, and besides his profession in show business, he’s known for his work as a real estate agent. Duane is the also owner of the distribution company, called The Momentum Experience. As of July 2023, his net worth has been estimated at $500,000, after a bitter divorce and bankruptcy.

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