Tony Award winner Jesse L. Martin stars as Joe West, a hard-working detective who takes Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) under his wing when Barry’s father is arrested for murder, in The CW series The Flash. After witnessing Barry’s gift of speed, West teams up with Barry in an effort to both patrol the city and protect his young ward.
Born in Rocky Mount, Virginia, Martin attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. After graduating, he was cast in a recurring role on Guiding Light. He continued to work in theater and was soon cast in the role of Tom Collins in the Broadway play Rent, for which he won a Tony Award. He reprised his role in the feature film version of the play in 2005.
Martin is well known for his role as Detective Edward Green in the long-running series, Law & Order. He also had recurring roles on the critically acclaimed series Smash and Ally McBeal. Additional television credits include New York Undercover, The X-Files and The Philanthropist, as well as the television movies, A Christmas Carol and Deep in My Heart.
Martin just completed production on the biopic Sexual Healing, where he stars as Marvin Gaye. He also starred in the feature films Joyful Noise, Rent and The Cake Eaters. Additional film credits include Safety Point, Silent Rhythm, Buffalo Bushido, Peter & Vandy, My Father’s Will and Restaurant.
Making his Broadway debut in Timon of Athens, Martin went on to perform in The Government Inspector. After his smash performance in Rent, Martin took a break to film Law & Order, but returned to the stage for productions of The Merchant of Venice and The Winter’s Tale, as part of The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park. The Merchant of Venice transferred to Broadway and Martin reprised his role for a limited engagement.
Martin currently resides in New York.