Sandy Martin is an American actress best known for her roles including a policewoman in 48 Hrs., Mrs. Meredith in Real Genius, a dying burn victim in Nip/Tuck, Janice in Barfly, and Mac's mom in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
She is also known for her starring role as Grandma in the 2004 feature film Napoleon Dynamite and its subsequent animated television series, in 2012.
Martin hails from New York, and has appeared in over 70 plays in renowned theatres such as the WPA Theatre, Lincoln Center, Perry Street Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre and Playwrights Horizons.
Taking the opportunity to explore Los Angeles, Martin took a teaching position at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts/West. At that time, she co-founded Hothouse Stage Co. with Susan Streitfeld, where they produced, acted in and directed award-winning plays such as Hothouse, by Megan Terry, and Welcome to Andromeda, by Ron Whyte. The two also won LA Weekly's Best Revival of the Year for The Killing of Sister George.
Martin went on to act in Through the Leaves, by Franz Xaver Kroetz, and Rhinoceros, by Eugene Ionesco, at the Odyssey Theatre.
A real hit at the time was the West Coast premiere of Edward Allen Baker's Prairie Avenue, which originated at Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York City and then moved to the Callboard Theatre in L.A., where Martin played the downtrodden wife opposite Ed Harris and Amy Madigan.
She also acted in Summertime, by Charles Mee, at the Theater at Boston Court in Pasadena.
Seguing into film, Martin was the Associate Producer for six years with Esparza/Katz Productions. During her time there, the company produced A Bowl of Beings, with Culture Clash, for Great Performances on KCET; Gettysburg for Ted Turner; The Milagro Beanfield War, directed by Robert Redford; and The Cisco Kid, starring Jimmy Smits and Cheech Marin.
Moving into television, Martin became President of Olmos Productions, where she developed projects for Edward James Olmos for over four years at ABC.
Martin had a recurring role on the drama Big Love as the creep-with-a-heart-of-gold Selma Green, and played Mac's mom on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
She has guest-starred in numerous hit shows, including CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Nip/Tuck, Shameless, Saving Grace, Weeds, Cold Case, The Unit, My Name is Earl, Without A Trace, The Closer and Desperate Housewives.
Playing the ATV-driving, llama-loving Grandma in the hit film Napoleon Dynamite led to film roles in Marley and Me and the upcoming Seven Psychopaths, the directorial debut from award-winning writer Martin McDonagh (In Bruges), starring Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell and Tom Waits.
Having been featured in the critically acclaimed production of Tennessee Williams' last full-length play, A House Not Meant to Stand, Martin was nominated for Best Female Actress for the 2011 Ovation Awards.