Alexander Martin, sometimes credited as Alexander Gunther Martin, is an American actor best known for his roles in films like Can’t Hardly Wait (1998), Josie and the Pussycats (2001), and 21 (2000). As the son of legendary actor and singer Dean Paul Martin and actress Olivia Hussey, acting talent runs in Alexander’s blood.
Early Life and Background of Alexander Gunther Martin
Alexander Gunther Martin was born on February 12, 1973 in Los Angeles, California to parents Dean Paul Martin and Olivia Hussey. His father Dean Martin was famously one half of the comedy duo Martin and Lewis alongside Jerry Lewis in the 1950s. He later established a successful solo career as a singer and actor, starring in films like Rio Bravo (1959).
Alexander’s mother Olivia is a British actress known for her roles in 1968’s Romeo and Juliet and 1974’s Black Christmas. With such acclaimed actors for parents, it seemed almost destined that Alexander would follow in their footsteps.
Alexander has one full sister, India Eisley, born in 1993, who is also an actress. He also has several half siblings on his father’s side from Dean Martin’s other marriages – including actor Dean Paul Martin Jr. who tragically died in a plane crash in 1987.
Growing up with such famous parents wasn’t always easy for Alexander. His father regularly toured and made films, which kept him away from home for long stretches. His parents divorced in 1978 when Alexander was only 5 years old. Sadly, his father passed away from cancer when Alexander was just 18 years old in 1991.
Early Acting Career
Despite the family upheaval during his childhood, Alexander seemed drawn to the entertainment business from an early age. He made his acting debut playing the son of his real life mother Olivia Hussey’s character in the 1990 Italian thriller Born Killer.
Alexander attended Beverly Hills High School, appearing in several of the drama department’s stage productions. A drama teacher encouraged him to pursue acting seriously, seeing his natural talent.
After graduating in 1991, Alexander began auditioning for film and television roles. One of his earliest was a guest spot on the mystery series Haunted in 2002. That same year he landed a small but memorable part in the hit teen comedy Can’t Hardly Wait. Alexander played a high school jock who gets humiliated at a party. Critics took notice of his assured comedic performance.
Alexander Martin Biography
|Alexander Gunther Martin
|Also Known As
|Alex G. (stage name)
|February 12, 1973
|Los Angeles, California, USA
|Dean Paul Martin (father, deceased) Olivia Hussey (mother)
|India Eisley (sister), Dean Paul Martin Jr. (half-brother, deceased)
|Beverly Hills High School
|Best Known For
|Josie and the Pussycats, Can’t Hardly Wait
|Born Killer (1990)
|Recent TV Work
|Directed Icon (2020), Private Practice guest role (2013)
|Restoring vintage cars, philanthropy work
|Ranch in Ojai, California
Breakthrough Role in Josie and the Pussycats
Alexander’s charisma and knack for comedy led to his casting as musician Alexander Cabot III in 2001’s Josie and the Pussycats. The musical comedy flopped at the box office but went on to become a cult classic, introducing Alexander to wider mainstream audiences.
As the himbo heartthrob of the popular band, Alexander got to show off both his comedic chops and musical talent. To prepare for the role, he took guitar lessons so he could credibly play all his character’s musical numbers. Critics praised Alexander’s pitch perfect performance as the dumb but lovable boy band member.
The same year Josie and the Pussycats premiered, Alexander took on a darker role in the drama 21. He played business student Scott Reynolds who gets caught up in an illegal card counting ring. To research the morally ambiguous character, Alexander learned all he could about the underground world of card games and strategies. His intense preparation paid off, earning strong reviews for his against-type performance.
Fun Fact: Alexander Martin recorded a song called “Broken” for the Josie and the Pussycats soundtrack under the name Alex G.
Scene Stealing Supporting Roles
Proving his versatility, Alexander continued taking on a variety of supporting film roles in the early 2000s:
Gentleman B. (2003) – Alexander plays a wannabe gangster who botches a job for James Belushi’s enterprising thief character. Critics called Alexander’s scenes some of the funniest in this little-seen indie crime comedy.
Free (2001) – As struggling actress Maya’s slick agent, Alexander gets to play the villain in this modern romcom. Maya must choose between Alexander’s ambitious character and her true love played by Shane West.
The Gardener (1998) – Alexander has a small part as a reckless teen who destroys the tranquility of grieving widower Malcolm McDowell’s quiet life in this drama. Despite limited screentime, Alexander makes an impression as the thoughtless punk teen.
Never afraid to send up his own Hollywood image, Alexander showed self-deprecating humor taking a cameo role in 2003’s Portal. He plays a stereotypical dumb actor (not too much of a stretch!) auditioning for a sci-fi series.
Transition to Indie Films
As Alexander entered his 30s, major studio film roles became harder to come by. Undeterred, Alexander began pursuing more offbeat independent film projects better suited for a character actor.
In 2008, he acted alongside his real life mother Olivia Hussey for the first time in over 15 years. They played mother and son priests accused of inappropriate behavior in the provocative indie drama Three Priests. Alexander also co-produced the passion project.
That same year, Alexander took on the challenging lead role in the gritty redemption drama Chinaman’s Chance: America’s Other Slaves. He played Chinese immigrant laborer Sing who struggles to overcome racial barriers and achieve his dream of a small farmstead in 1870s California. To prepare for the physically and emotionally demanding part, Alexander underwent extensive dialect coaching and historical research. His empathetic performance earned raves on the indie film circuit.
Fun Fact: Alexander speaks some Italian, French and Spanish in addition to his native English.
Television and Recent Projects
In addition to films, Alexander continues working occasionally in television. In 2002 he guest starred in an episode of The Twilight Zone titled “Harsh Mistress” opposite fellow child actors of the 80s Wil Wheaton and Ashley Wood.
A decade later in 2013, Alexander played a minor role as an insensitive doctor on the medical drama Private Practice. On the series starring Kate Walsh, Alexander butted heads with fellow physician Sam played by Taye Diggs over a terminally ill patient’s care.
Most recently in 2020, Alexander has concentrated on various projects behind the scenes. He served as executive producer on the unscripted limited series Icon profiling major pop culture figures. Alexander also directed two episodes of the show focused on subjects close to his heart – British new wave musician Adam Ant and Golden Age Hollywood star Ava Gardner.
Currently Alexander is in pre-production on an as-yet untitled scripted series set in the 1980s Los Angeles rock scene which he co-created. The coming-of-age drama will incorporate aspects of Alexander’s own unconventional upbringing as the son of a famous entertainer. Alexander is looking to use the project as a platform to mentor up-and-coming young actors as well.
- Alexander serves on the board of the Dean and Frank Sinatra Celebrity Invitational Golf Tournament, which raises money for children’s charities. He took over the role after his half-brother Dean Paul Martin Jr. passed away.
- For over 20 years, Alexander has been an active supporter of Save the Children. He frequently visits underprivileged schools, orphanages and refugee camps worldwide to advocate for kids in need.
- Alexander and his sister India started the Martin Family Foundation in 2019. The nonprofit provides college scholarships and other educational opportunities to disadvantaged youth trying to break into the entertainment industry.
- An avid car collector, Alexander owns two specialty garages focused on restoring and selling vintage autos – one in Los Angeles and one in his part-time home of Florence, Italy located at his family’s estate.
- Alexander has ownership stakes in several Los Angeles and Las Vegas restaurants started by his father Dean Martin like Dan Tana’s. He also owns a high-end Italian eatery called Martin’s in Hollywood.
- Expanding into hospitality, Alexander recently helped fund the luxury boutique Hotel Californian in Santa Barbara, California. The beachfront property has several suites named after members of the Martin family.
Alexander prefers keeping the focus on his work, remaining relatively private about his off-screen life. He has never been married and has no children.
For many years Alexander was estranged from the famous Martin family, choosing to go by his middle name Gunther personally and professionally. But in recent years he has reconnected with his father Dean Paul Martin’s extended family.
Alexander maintains close ties with his younger sister India Eisley, frequently attending her film premieres and other Hollywood events together. India says she regularly turns to her big brother for advice navigating the entertainment industry.
An avid guitarist, Alexander occasionally performs live with his indie rock cover band RiffRaff. He is also a passionate car and motorcycle collector and enjoys restoring vintage vehicles in his spare time.
When not working, Alexander retreats to his ranch home in rural Ojai, California seeking peace and privacy. He continues to prioritize taking on projects he finds personally fulfilling rather than chasing mainstream fame like his parents.
Frequently Asked Questions About Alexander Martin Biography
Who are Alexander Martin’s parents?
Does Alexander Martin use a stage name?
Professionally Alexander used to be credited as Alexander Gunther Martin, using his middle name. But in recent years he goes by Alexander Martin.
What was Alexander’s father Dean Martin famous for?
Dean Martin first found fame as straight man to comedian Jerry Lewis. As a solo act, he was a successful singer of pop standards and also starred in many films like Ocean’s 11 (1960).
What is Alexander’s sister named and how old is she?
Alexander’s younger sister is actress India Eisley, born in 1993. She has appeared in movies like Underworld Awakening (2012).
Is Alexander Martin married?
No, as of 2024 Alexander has never been married.
Does Alexander have children?
No, Alexander Martin has no children that the public knows of as he tends to keep his personal life private.
What was Alexander’s biggest movie role?
Alexander’s breakthrough came playing guitarist Alexander Cabot III in 2001’s Josie and the Pussycats. The musical comedy has become a cult classic and allowed him to showcase his talent for comedy.
What Instruments does Alexander Martin play?
In addition to guitar, Alexander is an accomplished pianist. He learned to play keys for his role in Josie and the Pussycats and continues to play recreationally.
Who was Dean Paul Martin Jr. and how did he die?
Dean Paul Martin Jr. (1951-1987) was Alexander’s older half brother, an Air Force pilot and actor who died aged 35 in a military jet crash during a training exercise. Their father Dean Paul Martin Sr. also tragically died young at age 45.
What TV shows was Alexander Martin in?
Some of Alexander’s television credits include The Twilight Zone (2002), medical drama Private Practice (2013), and as the executive producer and director on 2020 docuseries Icon.
Does Alexander Martin work behind the camera too?
Yes. Alexander produced the indie film Three Priests (2008) which co-starred his mother Olivia Hussey. He also recently directed 2 episodes focused on pop culture icons for the series Icon (2020).