Richest CelebritiesActors
Net Worth:
$8 Million
$100 Thousand Per Episode
Jan 18, 1969 (55 years old)
Rocky Mount
6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Singer, Actor
United States of America
💰 Compare Jesse L. Martin's Net Worth

What is Jesse L. Martin's Net Worth and Salary?

Jesse L. Martin is an actor and singer who has a net worth of $8 million. Jesse L. Martin is best known for playing Tom Collins in the stage musical "Rent" and NYPD Detective Ed Green on the television police procedural series "Law & Order." He appeared in 198 episodes of "Law & Order," Dick Wolf's original series that has since turned into a massive franchise. He has also had substantial roles on such television shows as "Ally McBeal," "The Philanthropist," "The Flash," and "The Irrational." On the big screen, Martin's credits include "Restaurant," "Joyful Noise," and "Sexual Healing.

Early Life and Education

Jesse L. Martin was born as Jesse Lamont Watkins on January 18, 1969 in Rocky Mount, Virginia as the third of four sons of Virginia, a college counselor, and Jesse Sr., a truck driver. His parents ended up divorcing, and he adopted the surname of his stepfather after his mother remarried. The family eventually moved to Buffalo, New York, where Martin felt out of place due to his Southern accent. Concerned, an educator encouraged him to join an after-school drama program, and cast him in a production of "The Golden Goose." His performance was a big hit, helping him come out of his shell. Martin went on to attend the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts. For his higher education, he went to New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where he majored in theater.

Theater Career

After graduating from NYU, Martin toured the country with John Houseman's the Acting Company. He appeared in such productions as "Shakespeare's Rock-in-Roles" and "The Butcher's Daughter" before returning to Manhattan to perform in local theater. In 1993, Martin made his Broadway debut in "Timon of Athens." The following year, he appeared in the Broadway revival of "The Government Inspector." Martin got his big break in 1996 when he originated the role of gay philosophy professor and computer geek Tom Collins in Jonathan Larson's musical "Rent." A modern-day update of Puccini's "La Bohème," the musical was a stratospheric hit, earning four Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize, among other honors. Martin reprised his role as Tom Collins when "Rent" played on the West End in 1998.

Following "Rent," Martin appeared on the concept album of the musical "Bright Lights, Big City." In 2003, he appeared in a production of "The Threepenny Opera" in Williamstown, Massachusetts. After a seven-year break from the stage, Martin returned in 2010 to perform in productions of "The Merchant of Venice" and "The Winter's Tale" as part of Shakespeare in the Park in New York City. He reprised his role from the former play when it transferred to Broadway for a limited engagement in late 2010. Two years later, Martin participated in a one-night-only reading benefit of "Romeo and Juliet" to honor the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.

Jesse L. Martin

Slaven Vlasic / Getty Images

Television Career

Martin got his start on television appearing in commercials and soap operas. His first main role was on the short-lived Fox series "413 Hope St." in 1997. The year after that, he began playing Dr. Greg Butters on the Fox series "Ally McBeal," a role he played for the show's first two seasons. Martin went on to land his longest-running role in 1999: NYPD Detective Ed Green on the NBC police procedural series "Law & Order," then in its tenth season. He remained on the show until 2008, making him its fifth-longest serving cast member. During that time, Martin made guest appearances on the spinoffs "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." In 2009, he returned to NBC as part of the cast of the action series "The Philanthropist"; however, the show was canceled after eight episodes.

Back on NBC, Martin played the recurring role of Scott Nichols in the second season of the musical drama "Smash" in 2013. The year after that, he began playing the main role of Joe West on the superhero series "The Flash," airing on the CW. Martin played the character for all nine seasons of the show through 2023, and made a guest appearance as the character in an episode of "Supergirl" in 2017. After the end of "The Flash," Martin landed a main role on the NBC series "The Irrational." Among his other notable television credits, he lent his voice to two episodes of the children's animated series "Sofia the First," and hosted the anthology series "How it Really Happened."

Film Career

Martin made his feature film debut in the 1998 independent drama "Restaurant," starring Adrien Brody, Elise Neal, Catherine Keener, and Lauryn Hill. He next played Roc Williams in the 2003 film "Season of Youth." Two years after that, Martin reprised his role as Tom Collins in the film adaptation of "Rent"; he was one of six of the original Broadway cast members to reprise their roles. He went on to appear in the 2007 drama "The Cake Eaters," starring Kristen Stewart and Aaron Stanford, and the 2009 romance "Peter and Vandy," starring Jason Ritter and Jess Weixler. In 2011, Martin was in the biographical drama "Puncture," starring Chris Evans as drug-addicted Houston lawyer Mike Weiss. The next year, Martin played the estranged husband of Queen Latifah's character in the musical dramedy "Joyful Noise."

In 2013, it was announced that Martin would be taking over from Lenny Kravitz to portray famed singer-songwriter Marvin Gaye in the biopic "Sexual Healing," directed by Julien Temple. The film went on to be shot, but it was unfinished when financial difficulties caused the production to be put on hold.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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