- Category : Actor
- Type : ME
- Profile : 2/4 - Hermit / Opportunist
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Penetration 3
Martin John Kemp (born 10 October 1961), brother of Gary Kemp, is an English actor and former pop musician. He was born in Islington, London.
In the 1980s he and his brother Gary Kemp had a great deal of success in the New Romantic band Spandau Ballet. Their most popular albums included True. He also performed on the popular 1984 famine relief project song "Do They Know It's Christmas", written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure.
He and his brother Gary branched out into acting in 1990, both of them appearing in the British film The Krays in which they played the notorious gangster twins, Ronald and Reginald Kray. Their performances received a great deal of critical acclaim.
Since The Krays, Martin Kemp has been in the public eye more than his brother. He moved to Los Angeles in the early 1990s and made appearances in television series such as The Outer Limits and Highlander: The Series. He also appeared in several Hollywood films such as Waxwork II: Lost in Time (1992) and Embrace of the Vampire (1994).
In 1995 he moved back to the United Kingdom and took a break from acting for a short while after recovering from a brain tumour. He then resumed his acting career in 1998 when he made guest appearance in the ITV police drama series The Bill. He went on to became popular for his role as villain Steve Owen in the BBC's top soap opera, EastEnders from late 1998 to 2002. His character was involved in some of the soap's highest rated storylines such as the Saskia Duncan murder and "Who Shot Phil?". By the time he left the series, he was one of the best-known faces on British television. Kemp won three TV Quick Awards for Best Soap Actor (2000, 2001, 2002), a National Television Award for Most Popular Actor (2000) and five British Soap Awards (Villain of the Year in 2000, Best Actor in 2001 and 2002, Sexiest Male in 2001 and 2002) for his work on EastEnders.
He then switched over to ITV where he starred in several television dramas such as The Brides in the Bath in which he played real-life murderer, George Smith and Can't Buy Me Love opposite fellow EastEnders star Michelle Collins which was based on a true story about a man who conned his wife and friends into believing he had won the lottery.
Most recently Kemp starred in a low-budget British film titled Back in Business which had a limited release in February 2007 and one month later was released on DVD.
Kemp has also founded his own production company.
Martin appeared on a celebrity special of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire in January 2008 with his brother Gary, in order to raise awareness of (and a bit of cash) for the Encephalitis Society.
Martin Kemp has been married to Shirlie Holliman since 1988. Holliman is a former back up singer of the group Wham! and one-half of the 1980s pop duo Pepsi and Shirlie. The couple have a son and daughter together. Martin Kemp is also patron of the UK and Ireland charity, The Encephalitis Society, and at the time of becoming patron confirmed that he had controlled epilepsy since the 1990s, as a result of having two brain tumours. The Society is the only resource in the world that provides information globally on the disease and its consequences. Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain usually as a result of infection or an inappropriate auto immune response. Following the tumours, Kemp had a protective metal plate implanted over his brain under the scalp. It is unnoticeable but not undetectable - during an appearance on the Frank Skinner Show in 2002, Kemp jokingly remarked that he could never slip quietly through metal detectors at airports, as the plate would set the alarm off.