Who Is Denise Gordy? Find Out All You Need to Know About Marvin III Real Mother 

Denise Gordy is not only popular for being a legendary actress and singer, but she has also been in the news for family controversies.

The well-known entertainment star comes from a family well-rooted in entertainment and has done well for herself in Hollywood for over 15 years.

However, in 1998 she caused a stir when she revealed her identity as the mother of musician Marvin Gaye’s son, Marvin III.

So, who’s Denise Gordy, and what’s there to know about her? 

Follow me, as I take you through her early life, career, net worth, and family, including her relationship with her ex-husband and Marvin Gaye. In the end, you’ll know the movies she acted in and what she’s up to now.

Denise Gordy’s Biography 

Denise Gordy and Bianca Lawson 

Denise Gordy is a former American actress and singer, born on the 11th of November, 1949.

She was born in Detroit, Michigan, USA, to the famous Gordy family, who are well-known as entertainers, particularly in the music industry.

Her parents are George and Rosemary Gordy, and her uncle is Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown Label. Her father was a businessman before he joined his brother’s music label as a songwriter.

She has seven siblings, a sister, Patrice Gordy, and six brothers, including George Gordy Jr.

Denise started her career as an actress in the early seventies and was also featured as a singer in some of her TV appearances. 

In 1978, she got married to Richard Lawson who later became the husband of Beyonce Knowles’s mother, Tina Knowles. They have a daughter together, Bianca Lawson, who’s also into acting.  

The marriage ended with a divorce in 1979.

Also, she’s the mother of Marvin Gaye III, the adopted son of Marvin Gaye and Anna Gordy Gaye.

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Denise Gordy’s Career 

Denise Gordy is a former actress and singer, who debuted as an actress in 1972. Born into a family heavily invested in the entertainment business, Denise was quick to find a passion in entertainment too.  

She started by featuring in the movie “Lady Sings The Blues,” showcasing her talent as both an actress and a singer.

Two years later, in 1974, she featured in the movie, “Black Fist.” She was also part of the vocals in the movie soundtrack.

Denise went on to act in several television series and films until 1991, retiring due to some personal challenges.

What Movie Did Denise Gordy Featured in?

Below are the movies Denise Gordy featured in no particular order:

  • Lady Sings the Blue
  • Black Fist
  • Mahogany
  • Starsky & Hutch
  • Charlie’s Angels
  • Fantasy Island
  • Getting Physical
  • My Man Adam
  • Little Ladies of the Night
  • Scott Joplin
  • Enos
  • At Ease
  • Bare Essence
  • D.C. Cab
  • It’s a Living
  • Reform School Girls
  • Toy Soldiers 

What Is Denise Gordy’s Net Worth?

According to several sources, Denise Gordy has a net worth of $1 million.

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Meet Denise Gordy’s Family 

a younger Denise Gordy with her family

Denise Gordy was born to George and Rosemary Gordy. Her family is heavily invested in the entertainment industry as musicians, actors, songwriters, etc.

Her father first engaged in several businesses before joining his brother, Berry Gordy, the famous founder of Motown Records.

Her aunt is the late Anna Gordy Gaye, who was a songwriter, particularly for her husband, the late Marvin Gaye. Anna had been in the news for posing as the real mother of Marvin Gaye III, born in 1965.

However, in 1998, Denise publicly declared herself the real mother.

Furthermore, Denise has seven siblings, a sister, and six brothers. She lost her mother in 1980, two years after her marriage to her ex-husband. In 2011, her father died in his sleep at age 85.

She’d gotten married to Richard Lawson in 1978. However, they divorced in 1989, after birthing a daughter, Bianca Lawson, a famous American actress, and stepsister to famous musician Beyonce Knowles and her sister Solange Knowles.

Denise Gordy and Richard Lawson 

Richard Lawson 

Denise Gordy and Richard Lawson were married for ten years. They got married on the 31st of December, 1978, and got divorced in 1989.

Richard Lawson also has a career in acting just like his ex-wife. He was born on March 7, 1947, and enlisted in the U.S. Army before beginning his acting career.

He began his acting career in 1971 and has acted in several movies and TV series up until the present. His marriage to Denise Gordy resulted in a daughter in 1979, Bianca Lawson, who’s also an established actress.

Richard had a son in 1992, Ricky Lawson, who’s a Grammy-nominated songwriter. In 2015, he got married to Tina Knowles, mother to widely acclaimed singer Beyonce, and Solange Knowles.

However, in July 2023, Tina Knowles filed for a divorce.

Marvin Gaye and Denise Gordy’s Relationship

Marvin Gaye

The relationship between the late singer Marvin Gaye and Denise Gordy is quite interesting. 

Marvin Gaye first came into the picture after his marriage to Denise Gordy’s aunt, Anna Gordy Gaye, and Denise reportedly gave birth to his son, Marvin Gaye III.

At first, Marvin and his wife had first made it look like they were the biological parents of Marvin Gaye III. Anna had even displayed a fake baby bump before the birth of Denise’s son.

After Denise birthed Marvin Gaye III, they adopted him as their son. However, in 1998, Denise had gone public with the truth.

Also, Steve Turner revealed in his book, Trouble Man: The Life and Death of Mavin Gaye, the truth about Marvin Gaye’s III biological parents.

In addition, the Sun Sentinel had also disclosed details about Marvin Gaye’s secret.

Where’s Denise Gordy Now?

Denise Gordy now lives a quiet life. The 74-year-old is a grandmother. Her first child, Marvin III, has two children, Marvin IV born in 1995, and Dylan born in 2000.


Denise Gordy made an impact in Hollywood during her acting days despite the personal challenges she faced. The retired actress is a mother to two children, who are both entertainers. 

She’s also a grandmother of two. 

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Marymartin Okoabu
Marymartin Okoabu

Chinonso Marymartin Okoabu is a creative writer who focuses on SEO contents and fictions. With more than two years experience in SEO writing, she writes articles for websites. In her spare time, she crafts short stories that explore life experiences. Her creative works have been published on different websites and Love Feast Magazine. She is the winner of the E C. Michael's prize for short stories, 2022.

Chinonso is a graduate of Human Anatomy from the University of Calabar.
She hails from Ibusa in Oshimili North local government area of Delta state.

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