Jesse L. Martin

Jesse L. Martin


1/18/1969, Rocky Mount, Virginia, USA

Birth Name

Jesse Lamont Watkins



Also Known As

Jesse Lamont Watkins
out of 10
User Rating
103 votes


Jesse L. Martin was born in Rocky Mount, Virginia. He has four older brothers. His parents were truck driver Jesse Reed Watkins and college counselor Virginia Price. His family called him by his middle name, Lamont, to distinguish him from his father. Jesse's parents divorced while Jesse was…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • Jesse L. Martin: (on homosexual themes in Rent, particularly the 'I'll Cover You' scene between his character, Tom Collins, and Angel) You know, if they're not ready, they'll have to get ready because the truth of the matter is ... it's a reality and not only that, if it's really hard for you to swallow, we're singing a beautiful song to sort of lull you into it. You just have to accept it. I mean ... I don't know what else to say. It's unfathomable to me that people even would have a problem with it.

    • Jesse L. Martin: (on Jerry Orbach) He certainly had a whole lot more war stories then I did... the wealth of knowledge that I gained from being next to him 14 hours a day is invaluable, and he literally taught me everything there was to know, I mean he was literally the Prince of New York theatre and I got to work with him every single day.

    • Jesse L. Martin: I have such reverence for teachers, I grew up and I had some of the most dedicated and generous educators and I know for a fact that now it is very difficult to just be a teacher.

    • Jesse L. Martin: (on the topic of race relations in "Law & Order") It's really important for every culture to be represented the way it is, right or wrong, the way it is, truthfully.

    • Jesse L. Martin: (on living in New York and not in California) There are actors here, there's Broadway, there's stage to do, which I'm perfectly content doing. Which I'm lucky enough to get to do. I just liked NY much better if I'm going to live somewhere.

    • Jesse L. Martin: ...if love was that easy to find then everybody would have it.

    • Jesse L. Martin: Go back to what's good, what's certain, what's always there. You woke up today. Just start walking.

    • Jesse L. Martin: I almost never leave my apartment. If I'm not at work, it's probable that I am in my house.

    • Jesse L. Martin: I couldn't be luckier. I have the greatest job working on Law & Order and I get to live in the greatest city ever--I'm never leaving New York.

    • Jesse L. Martin: I fancy myself an artist. I like to draw and paint a lot. I can lose hours doing it.

    • Jesse L. Martin: (about Rosario Dawson and Tracie Thoms in "Rent: The Movie") Rosario and Tracie found a way to become part of our family almost instantaneously. They fit it like a glove. It has been an incredible experience. I´m so glad they were there because I got to make two new friends as well.

  • I can understanad why you lasted so long on Law and Order, Jesse, because you are surely one of the best in your role as a detective as I have ever seen. I hope you continue to find roles that are worthy of your talent; I believe you are multi-talented!moreless

    Jesse Martin played a great role in Law and Order, a show that was cancelled prematurely and that didn't even have the decency to show the proper appreciation for an ouatstanding cast - after 20 years of performances by great actors/actresses. I really miss the show. Other than Law and Order/Special Victims, I have not seen any other law and order show that can compare with this original version. I felt that it followed true law and order procedures, both on the "law" side and on the "order" side, so was very realistic. I always hated it when they lost!moreless
  • Jesse L. Martin can sing, dance, and act, and he's an awesome person too. Who CAN'T love him?

    I first saw Jesse in RENT, and I was blown away by his voice. Frankly, I couldn't believe that I hadn't heard of him before. He was, hands down, the most honest actor in the movie. It's hard not to break into tears when he sang I'll Cover Your (Reprise), especially when Jesse's voice nearly breaks--but doesn't, of course, because he's amazing like that!

    After I saw RENT, I started watching Law and Order. Det. Green and Tom Collins are parallel opposites, and yet Jesse was just as convincing in both roles. I think the moment when I completely, totally, without a doubt fell in love with him was seeing him perform in the Anniversary edition of Rent on Broadway. When you see an actor get so into his character that he literally starts crying in an emotional scene, you kind of have to admit he's incredible.

    On top of that, Jesse is very considerate towards his fans, charming, funny, and humble. The fact that he has a gorgeous smile and a smooth style doesn't hurt, either.

    It should be a law that Jesse has a major role on TV or in movies at least once a year, and that he sings in all of them. He's an amazing actor and person, and it's not fair how little credit he gets.moreless