The actor cemented his legacy with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday.
Hollywood is giving Martin Lawrence his flowers. On Thursday, the 58-year-old received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Hollywood Blvd. The comedian and actor was honored with reverent speeches from co-stars and collaborators Lynn Whitfield, Tracy Morgan and Steve Harvey, who showered Lawrence with affection and praise as they reflected on his journey throughout the years.
"Martin Lawrence has been a staple in pop culture for more than 30 years," Ana Martinez, producer of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, said in a statement before the ceremony. "This comedic genius has made many of us laugh for decades and he will continue to do so with his creative television and film moments."
Emcee Steve Nissen lauded Lawrence's career, which began in the '90s as he went from standup comedian to iconic TV actor and leading film actor. Lawrence, best known for the hit TV show Martin, created some of the most iconic and beloved characters of all time alongside some of the greatest comedy actors.
ET's Kevin Frazier spoke with the star at his ceremony, where he said the honor was "better late than never." Sharing his thanks for his family and friends, Lawrence added that the day "means the world to me and I'm so honored. I feel so blessed, I know that I'm blessed. I'm grateful to God and I'm grateful to my fans, my family, my friends and everybody that just supported and showed me love."
"I'm over the moon because it's just such a great honor," the actor said, reflecting on how he continues to add to his legacy as the years go by and fans continue to praise him for his work. "Aw, man, I feel so loved. I feel like the love that I've given out I'm just getting it back, so I feel it."
Most importantly, the actor notes that his work is nowhere near done. Lawrence and his onscreen partner-in-crime, Will Smith, are hard at work on the fourth installment of the Bad Boys franchise, with Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah returning to direct from a script by Chris Bremner.
The previous entry in the franchise, Bad Boys for Life, hit theaters in 2020, grossing $426 million at the box office. The franchise as a whole, beginning with the first installment in 1995, has grossed nearly $1 billion at the box office.
"It has the chance to be the best one of them all and everybody's doing their thing," Lawrence shared with ET, adding, "we got a lot of the team back from the last one. Big Willie's doing his thing as always and so focused and, yeah, it has the chance to be the biggest one."
During Thursday's ceremony, Whitfield, who starred with Lawrence in A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, praised her former co-star for his allyship with women, saying, "I have never had so much encouragement to be a crazy you-know-what. But this man encouraged all women."
The actress said she was thanking the actor "on behalf of all women for always presenting women as strong, for always allowing us to speak our mind, for always allowing us to be glamorous, and fabulous and strong and whip some butt when we felt like it."
Reflecting on when she recently saw the actor and he lamented that he was getting old, Whitfield said she told Lawrence, "No, you're just tired because you've done so damn much. You changed the fabric of American culture. Because before Tyler [Perry], before anyone, you presented us as we know ourselves. And made us love ourselves and made us laugh at ourselves and made us laugh with ourselves. And I just say, honey, if you want these people walking all over your name, fine. But I want to tell you, you are in the stars in the heavens forever, for everything you've done for everyone."
Morgan, who also shared a speech at the podium, later told ET that he credits Lawrence for his longstanding comedy career, saying, "All the work I've done is 'cause of that man."
"I remember I was a baby in that game and I got on [Def Comedy Jam]. He was in the middle of filming and I gave him a hug and he told me he loved me," Morgan shared, reflecting on how Lawrence inspired his own journey in TV and film. "Between him and Eddie [Murphy] he inspired me the most because I saw him. And four months later, I did Def Jam, I performed with them four months after getting in the game. He changed my family's life and I thank him for that -- there's no way in the world I can ever thank Martin for what he did for me."
Harvey shared similar sentiments when ET spoke with him, calling Lawrence "the ultimate performer."
"He's done so much for us especially in the comedy genre, man," he added. "I mean, the jobs he created and the whole Def Jam era. When you look at Def Jam [it] created more stars than any genre of anything. You look at who came out of that group and they still [around]. Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx, the Kings of Comedy, everybody's from that era. I don't care who you name, that was a tough group."
Harvey shared that the only other ceremony he's ever wanted to participate in was for fellow King of Comedy, Cedric the Entertainer. "For Martin Lawrence, man, it was a must, I had to find a way to be here to pay homage to this guy [and] to show my respect for him, for all he's done for us," he continued.
Referencing Lawrence's "iconic body of work," Harvey called the day a "very proud moment."
"I speak always from my heart how I feel about him, but I just told the truth," he said. "He did so much for Black [people] out here in terms of jobs... His writers didn't look like nobody else's writing room and that's hard to pull off in Hollywood and he did it."
Lawrence was honored with his star days after his 58th birthday, during which Smith shared the sweetest tribute on social media. Amid production on Bad Boys 4, Smith took to Instagram to post a video featuring various exchanges between him and Lawrence on press tours, on sets and behind-the-scenes clips from their years-long work on the action franchise.
"Happy B-Day Marty Mar!!" Smith captioned the heartwarming post.