Jesse L. Martin

Jesse L. Martin Photo


Date of Birth: January 18, 1969

Born in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Jesse Lamont Martin moved with his mother and four brothers to Buffalo, New York after his parents divorced.

He learned to sing in his church choir, and was bitten by the acting bug when he played a part in his fourth grade play. From grade five through twelve, he attended the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, then went on New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

He worked in TV commercials, regional theater, and even played a recurring role on the soap opera Guiding Light. In 1993 he made his Broadway debut in Timon of Athens and in 1994 appeared in the Broadway production of The Inspector General. In between jobs he waited tables at the Moondance Diner, where he met fellow waiter Jonathan Larson, who would go on to write the musical Rent. Martin originated the role of Tom Collins, an HIV-positive computer whiz, in the show. It opened to rave reviews off-Broadway in 1996 at the New York Theatre Workshop, and soon moved to Broadway, where it won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize and four Tony awards.

Martin soon found himself being offered roles on television. He became a regular on Fox TV's drama series 413 Hope St. (1997), then was cast in the recurring role of Calista Flockhart's love interest, Dr. Greg Butters, on Ally McBeal. He made his film debut in the small budget Restaurant (1998), playing alongside another up-and-comer, Adrien Brody.

In 1999 Martin was selected to replace Benjamin Bratt on Law & Order as Detective Ed Green, a role he continues toplay today.

When Chris Columbus was signed on to helm the movie version of Rent (2005), he decided to reunite as much of the original cast as possible, and Martin was thrilled to reprise his role as Tom in his first major motion picture.

Martin lives in New York City.


Rent (2005)
Season of Youth (2003)
Restaurant (1998)