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S. Epatha Merkerson to Play Marvin Gaye's Mother in Biopic

S. Epatha Merkerson Headshot - P 2013
Courtesy of Subject
S. Epatha Merkerson

The actress reunites with her former "Law & Order" co-star for Julien Temple's "Sexual Healing."

S. Epatha Merkerson is reuniting with her former Law & Order co-star Jesse L. Martin for the upcoming Marvin Gaye biopic Sexual Healing.

Merkerson has signed on to play Gaye's mother, Alberta, in the Julien Temple-directed film, which stars Martin as the late singer.

Earlier this month, Martin replaced Lenny Kravitz in the movie. Martin originally had been attached to play the late singer in a version produced by James Gandolfini -- who also had plans to co-star as music promoter Freddy Cousaert -- in 2008.

After the project stalled, Kravitz signed on for the lead role in the movie in November, but Gaye's son Marvin Gaye III voiced his objections to the project, which was said to focus on Gaye's life in the '80s when he battled drug abuse and depression.

The film now begins with the singer's attempt to get his career back on track with the help of Cousaert, now being played by Brendan Gleeson. The project, being produced by Vassal Benton and Fred Bestall, is set to start filming in late March.

Merkerson played Lt. Anita van Buren on NBC's long-running procedural Law & Order from 1991-2010. Martin co-starred as Detective Ed Green from 1999-2008.

The actress is currently recurring on NBC's freshman drama Deception and has recently appeared on CBS' The Good Wife. She is repped by ICM Partners and manager Bob McGowan.