The legendary comedian, actor and EBONY’s July 2022 cover star Martin Lawrence will go down as one of the best to ever do it.

Since launching his film career in 1989, Lawrence has established himself as one of the most successful comedic actors of his era. Over the course of his illustrious 30-year-plus film career, his movies have grossed almost $2 billion worldwide.

Here's a spotlight on some of Martin Lawrence’s most iconic film roles.

Do The Right Thing, 1989

In his first appearance on the big screen, a young Martin Lawrence played Cee in Spike Lee’s classic, Do The Right Thing. Set in Brooklyn, New York, the film follows Mookie (Spike Lee) who works as a delivery man at a local pizzeria that has been owned and operated for 25 years by Sal, an Italian-American. After Buggin' Out (Giancarlo Esposito) questions why there weren’t any Black people on the pizzeria's Wall of Fame, racial tensions spill on the streets of Brooklyn on one of the hottest days of the year. The cast includes Samuel L. Jackson, Rosie Perez, Bill Nunn, Robin Harris, Ruby Dee, Ossie Daivs and more. Since its release, Do The Right Thing is regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. Although Lawrence had only a minor role in the movie, his undeniable charisma on-screen was a foreshadowing of what was to come.

Boomerang, 1992

Although Lawrence is not one of the main stars in the film, his scene-stealing performance in Boomerang is one of his most memorable. In the movie, Lawrence plays the best friend of Marcus Graham (Eddie Murphy), a successful advertising executive who’s a ladies' man. Graham meets his match when he falls for his boss Jacqueline (Robin Givens) who gives him a taste of his own medicine. This classic film is one of the best romantic Black comedies. Earlier this month it celebrated its 30th anniversary.

You So Crazy, 1994

In his first stand-up special released in theaters, Lawrence delivered a classic with You So Crazy. Filmed at the Majestic Theatre in 1993 in New York City before a sold-out crowd, Lawrence gives his hilarious takes on family life, relationships, love, sex, racism and much more. Rocking black leather pants with a matching custom leather baseball jersey, Lawrence solidified his arrival as the leader of a new generation of comics. His stand-up film was a success and grossed over $10 million at the box office.

Bad Boys, 1995

Released in 1995, Bad Boys is an epic buddy-cop, action film that launched Lawrence and Will Smith as international movie stars. Miami-Dade detectives Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) a family man, and his partner Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) a ladies man, discover that $100 million worth of heroin is missing from their station’s headquarters. Believing that it was an inside job, Internal Affairs gave the duo five days to track down the drugs or the narcotics division will be shut down. Burnett and Lowrey are deployed to find the criminals and save their unit. The success of Bad Boys spawned two sequels, Bad Boys II in 2003 and Bad Boys For Life in 2020. The franchise has grossed over $840 million worldwide.

It’s a Thin Line Between Love and Hate, 1996

In It’s a Thin Line Between Love and Hate, Lawrence starred, directed and even co-wrote the screenplay. The film tells the story of Darnell Wright (Lawrence) who runs a nightclub and has women all over town. After meeting and pursuing Brandi (Lynn Whitfield), a successful real estate agent, he thinks it will be just another one-night affair. When he finally commits to his longtime love Mia (Regina King), he realizes that Brandi is set on getting revenge on him and everyone close to him. The film also stars Bobby Brown, Della Resse, Daryl “Chill” Mitchell, Malinda Williams and Wendell Raquel Robinson

Nothing to Lose, 1997

Terrance Paul "T. Paul" Davidson (Lawrence) is a small-time thief whose attempt at a carjacking fails when Nick Beame (Tim Robbins), an advertising executive who just discovered that his wife is sleeping with his boss, takes him on an unexpected joyride. Soon the unlikely duo strike up a partnership and go on a revenge tour in this action-packed comedy. 

Life, 1999

Teaming up with fellow comedy legend Eddie Murphy, Life brings all the funny that you can handle. Set during prohibition in Harlem, con-man Ray (Murphy) and straight-laced Claude (Lawrence) team up on a bootlegging mission to Mississippi that could bring them big bucks. But they run into trouble when a crooked lawman hits them with a phony murder charge. Ray and Claude are given life sentences and shipped off to jail. The film features an all-star cast including Anthony Anderson, Guy Torry, Miguel A. Núñez Jr, Sanaa Lathan, Obba Babatundé and the late Bernie Mac.

Blue Streak, 1999

After a heist goes sideways, jewel thief Miles (Lawrence) hides a diamond in the ceiling of a construction site before serving two years in prison. Upon his release, Miles returns to the location to find his diamond and discovers it's now a police station. To claim his jewel, Miles infiltrates the building, disguised as a recently transferred detective who impressed the unit with his unorthodox style. The film went on to gross almost $120 million at the box office and features a hilarious cameo from a young Dave Chappelle.

Big Momma's House, 2000

While pursuing a bank robber Lester Vesco (Terrence Howard) who recently escaped prison, FBI agent Malcolm Turner (Lawerence), who’s a master of disguise, goes undercover as a Southern grandmother named Big Momma. While tracking down the suspect, Turner falls in love with Big Momma’s granddaughter Sherry (Nia Long) who he's also trying to protect. Sherry and her son Malcolm (Jascha Washington) happen to be the ex-wife and child of Vesco. Grossing over $171 million at the box office, the film launched two sequels, Big Momma's House 2 in 2006, and Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son in 2011. The franchise has grossed almost $400 million worldwide.

What’s the Worst That Can Happen?, 2001

Kevin Caffery (Lawrence) is a professional thief who is trying to rob Max Fairbanks (Danny DeVito), a sketchy billionaire businessman, at his beachfront mansion. But in the middle of the robbery, he finds himself face to face with Fairbanks who alerts the authorities.  During Caffery’s arrest, Fairbanks notices Caffery's ring, which was given to him by his fiancé, and takes it for himself. After the ordeal, Caffery is set on paying Fairbanks back and retrieving his ring with the help of his partners.

Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, 2008

Nobody knows you like family. In Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, Lawrence plays RJ Stevens, a successful, self-help talk-show host who is watched by millions. When his parents ask him to come back home for their 50th anniversary, RJ vows to show everyone how much he has changed, with his son and fiancé accompanying him. But things go left when he runs into his childhood rival (Cedric the Entertainer) and first love (Nicole Ari Parker). The cast looks like a Black family reunion featuring James Earl Jones, Monique, Mike Epps, Joy Bryant, Margaret Avery, and the late Michael Clarke Duncan.

Death at a Funeral, 2010

In a remake of the British film of the same name, Lawrence and Rock play brothers who are preparing to pay tribute to their father at a funeral. Along with their sibling rivalry, bringing family together can always be chaotic and the drama ensues. The ensemble cast includes Danny Glover, Regina Hall, Peter Dinklage, James Marsden, Tracy Morgan, Loretta Devine, Zoë Saldaña, Columbus Short, Luke Wilson, Keith David, Ron Glass and Kevin Hart.