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February 2006

Date: February 7, 2006
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
After so many actors and rappers and singers, there's finally a true candidate who has the chops to play a legend.  Jesse L. Martin, star of NBC’s “Law & Order” and the feature film “Rent,” will portray Motown’s finest, Marvin Gaye in the independently-financed film “Sexual Healing,” due to begin production in May.

The movie, to be directed by Lauren Goodman from her own script, will focus on the years preceding his sudden shooting death at the hands of his father on April 1, 1984, one day before his 45th birthday. The film will include his self-imposed exile in Europe after years of battling drugs, domestic issues and label headaches. There, he was rescued by a promoter who helped Gaye record his biggest-selling album, "Midnight Love," supported by his comeback smash, "Sexual Healing." 

“More than just being the voice of a generation, Marvin Gaye proved to be its very heartbeat,” Goodman told the Hollywood Reporter. “As a filmmaker, I was drawn to tell the story of a human being who was never fully realized, one with faults and foibles and an uncommon grace expressed every time he picked up the microphone.”

Producers have been trying for years to get a Marvin Gaye biopic off the ground.  Originally, “Sexual Healing” was intended to cover a larger portion of his life but was refocused on his final years because of rights issues with his Motown-produced records.




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