LAW + ORDER star Jesse L Martin is desperate to portray late soul star Marvin Gaye in a biopic.

Gaye, who was shot dead by his father in 1984, is Martin's mother's favourite singer, and the actor admits it would be his dream to play the music legend on screen.

He says, "I'd love to play Marvin Gaye. I've been sort of chasing it for a really, really long time.

"If I'm really lucky, and everybody keeps a kind thought in their heads for me, I just may get to do it."