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Jesse L. Martin

Jesse L. Martin

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Also Known As: Jesse Lamont Watkins Died:
Born: January 18, 1969 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Rocky Mount, Virginia, USA Profession: actor, singer, waiter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A handsome African-American actor, Jesse L. Martin broke through as part of the original cast of the seminal 1996 Broadway musical, "Rent," a late-1980s, NYC/HIV gloss on Puccini's classic opera "La Bohème." Martin's performance as Tom Collins, a gay professor and lover of the doomed drag queen Angel, led to a recurring role as Dr. Greg Butters, the seemingly perfect new boyfriend of "Ally McBeal" (Fox, 1997-2002). Showing an impressive off-screen savvy, Martin moved on to "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010), where he was cast as Jerry Orbach's loose cannon new partner, detective Ed Green. He stayed with the show until 2008, taking a leave of absence to reprise his Broadway role in the film version of "Rent" (2005), as well as notching supporting roles in indie films like "The Cake Eaters" (2007) with Kristen Stewart and co-starring on the short-lived show "The Philanthropist" (NBC, 2009) and the hit musical series, "Smash" (NBC, 2012- ) before scoring his dream role in the long-gestating Marvin Gaye biopic, "Sexual Healing." Although he never truly broke out as an A-list star, Martin proved a reliably likable presence and a welcome addition to any ensemble.

A handsome African-American actor, Jesse L. Martin broke through as part of the original cast of the seminal 1996 Broadway musical, "Rent," a late-1980s, NYC/HIV gloss on Puccini's classic opera "La Bohème." Martin's performance as Tom Collins, a gay professor and lover of the doomed drag queen Angel, led to a recurring role as Dr. Greg Butters, the seemingly perfect new boyfriend of "Ally McBeal" (Fox, 1997-2002). Showing an impressive off-screen savvy, Martin moved on to "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010), where he was cast as Jerry Orbach's loose cannon new partner, detective Ed Green. He stayed with the show until 2008, taking a leave of absence to reprise his Broadway role in the film version of "Rent" (2005), as well as notching supporting roles in indie films like "The Cake Eaters" (2007) with Kristen Stewart and co-starring on the short-lived show "The Philanthropist" (NBC, 2009) and the hit musical series, "Smash" (NBC, 2012- ) before scoring his dream role in the long-gestating Marvin Gaye biopic, "Sexual Healing." Although he never truly broke out as an A-list star, Martin proved a reliably likable presence and a welcome addition to any ensemble.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Joyful Noise (2012)
2.
 Puncture (2011)
3.
 Buffalo Bushido (2010)
4.
 Peter and Vandy (2009)
5.
 Cake Eaters (2007)
6.
 Rent (2005)
7.
 Christmas Carol: The Musical, A (2004) Ghost Of Christmas Present
8.
 Deep in My Heart (1999) Don Williams
9.
 Restaurant (1998) Quincy
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born in Virginia
1978:
Moved with family to Buffalo, NY
:
Worked as a waiter at the Moondance Diner in NYC; trained in the position by Jonathan Larson
1992:
Played recurring role on the CBS daytime drama "Guiding Light"
1993:
Broadway debut in the ensemble of the National Actors' Theater production of "Timon of Athens"; directed by Michael Langham
1994:
Reunited with Langham for the National Actors' Theater production of "The Inspector General"
1995:
Primetime TV debut on the Fox drama "New York Undercover"
1996:
Originated the role of Tom Collins in Jonathan Larson's award-winning musical "Rent"; show opened off-Broadway before later moving to Broadway
1997:
TV series debut as a regular in the short-lived Fox drama "413 Hope Street"
1998:
Feature acting debut in the ensemble of "Restaurant"
1998:
Played recurring role of Dr. Greg Butters, a love interest for Calista Flockhart's "Ally McBeal" (Fox)
1999:
Played a Negro League Baseball player on an episode of "The X-Files" (Fox), written and directed by David Duchovny
1999:
Joined cast of the NBC drama series "Law & Order" as Detective Ed Green
2005:
Reprised role of Tom Collins, the HIV-positive computer genius in Chris Columbus directed feature adaptation of "Rent"
2008:
Made a guest cameo as a postal worker in the TV movie "A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa" (NBC)
2010:
Performed for the Public Theater in New York's Central Park in the plays "Winter's Tale" and "The Merchant of Venice"
2010:
Returned to Broadway when the production of "The Merchant of Venice" transferred from Shakespeare in the Park
2012:
Featured alongside Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah in the musical comedy "Joyful Noise"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

New York University: New York , New York -
Buffalo School for Visual and Performing Arts: Buffalo , New York - 1987

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Virginia Price. Retired college counselor. Divorced from Martin's father; remarried; sons adopted surname of second husband.
father:
Jesse Reed Watkins. Truck driver. Divorced from Martin's mother.

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