Mekhi Phifer

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Mekhi Phifer
Mekhi Phifer at 2011 Comic-Con International (5983164175) (cropped).jpg
Phifer at the 2011 Comic-Con International
Born (1974-12-29) December 29, 1974 (age 39)
Harlem, Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor, director, producer, rapper
Years active 1995–present
Spouse(s)

Mekhi Phifer (/mɛˌk ˈffər/; born December 29, 1974)[1][2]is an American actor. He portrayed Dr. Greg Pratt on NBC's long-running medical drama ER and had a co-starring role opposite Eminem in the feature film 8 Mile. He was a regular on the Fox crime show Lie to Me in the role of Ben Reynolds, before season 3, and also starred as CIA agent Rex Matheson in Torchwood: Miracle Day.

Early life[edit]

Phifer was born in Harlem, New York City. He grew up in a single-parent household with his mother, Rhoda Phifer, a high school teacher.[3]

Career[edit]

In 1994, Phifer attended an open casting call for director Spike Lee's Clockers, beating over a thousand others to get the lead role as a narcotics dealer embroiled in a murder cover-up.[2] He followed that role with another in the comedy spoof feature High School High (which also starred his former wife Malinda Williams) and continued by co-starring in the fright flick I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddie Prinze, Jr.

He portrayed Dr. Gregory Pratt on the medical drama ER, which he started in April 2002. Phifer left the show in September 2008, in the first episode of Season 15. His character died during the conclusion of the season 14 finale cliffhanger involving an ambulance explosion that was rigged to kill an injured FBI informant (Steve Buscemi). During his 6 years in the show, he was nominated twice for an NAACP Image Award.

Phifer on the flight deck of USS Nimitz in 2004.

Phifer's television credits include the movies The Tuskegee Airmen (1995), HBO's Subway Stories: Tales from the Underground (1997), and Brian's Song (2001) (as former Chicago Bear Gale Sayers). He received additional notice for his performance opposite singer Beyoncé Knowles (from Destiny's Child) on MTV's alternative take on the Carmen legend with the movie Carmen: A Hip Hopera (2001). Phifer had a recurring guest role in Seasons 5 and 6 of Homicide: Life on the Street, portraying "Junior Bunk", the troubled nephew of Baltimore drug lord Luther Mahoney, and also guest-starred in New York Undercover. Likewise, he earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for another TV movie, A Lesson Before Dying, opposite Don Cheadle. In 2009, Phifer began a guest-starring arc on the Fox drama Lie to Me.[4]

Phifer in a Cobra helicopter at the Palmachim Airbase in May 2012

Among Phifer's other big-screen credits are Soul Food, The Biography of Spud Webb, Hell's Kitchen, NYC, Tears of a Clown, O (as the titular character Odin a.k.a. O), and the thriller Uninvited Guest (as Silk). He appeared in Impostor as well as Paid in Full and director Curtis Hanson's 8 Mile, opposite Eminem. He is mentioned in the Grammy and Academy Award winning song "Lose Yourself" by Eminem.

Mekhi Phifer will appear as a guest on Season 2 of Top Chef Masters.[5]

In June 2011, Phifer starred alongside John Barrowman and Eve Myles as CIA agent Rex Matheson in Torchwood: Miracle Day, the fourth series of the BBC/Starz Entertainment television show Torchwood.

Phifer stars as Agent Collins in the fourth season of White Collar.

Phifer made a guest appearance on the sitcom series Husbands in its second season.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Phifer has a son, Omikaye, with his ex-wife, actress Malinda Williams. His second son, Mekhi Thira Phifer Jr., was born to Oni Souratha in Los Angeles on October 30, 2007. On March 30, 2013, Phifer wed his long time girlfriend Reshelet Barnes, in Beverly Hills, California. Phifer filed for bankruptcy in April owing $1.2 million[7] in back taxes,[8] $50,000 in lawyers bills and $4,500 in back child support.

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1995 The Tuskegee Airmen Lewis Johns
Clockers Ronald 'Strike' Dunham
1996 High School High Griff McReynolds
1997 Soul Food Lem
1998 Hell's Kitchen Johnny
1998 I Still Know What You Did Last Summer Tyrell
1999 A Lesson Before Dying Jefferson
Uninvited Guest Silk
2000 Shaft Trey Howard
2001 Carmen: A Hip Hopera Derek Hill
O Odin "O" James
Brian's Song Gale Sayers
2002 8 Mile David "Future" Porter
Paid in Full Mitch
Impostor Cale
2003 Honey Chaz
2004 Dawn of the Dead Andre
2005 Slow Burn Isaac Duperde
2006 Puff, Puff, Pass Big Daddy
2007 This Christmas Gerald
2008 Nora's Hair Salon 2: A Cut Above Dr. Terry
A Talent for Trouble Mekhi
2009 A Day in the Life King Khi
2011 Flypaper Darrien
2012 White Collar Kyle Collins
2014 A Day Late and A Dollar Short Lewis
2014 Divergent Max
2015 The Divergent Series: Insurgent Max Filming

Television appearances[edit]

Music videos[edit]

Other activities[edit]

Phifer was the 2004 winner of the Celebrity Poker Showdown Championship, defeating Neil Patrick Harris during the fourth season. Phifer plays on the World Poker Tour in the Hollywood Home games for the Love Our Children USA charity. Phifer is chairman of the board of trustees of The Vine Group USA.[9] a non-profit organization established in 2000 to provide educational resources to universities in Africa. He has signed up with Full Tilt Poker. He has his own well on the poker forum 2+2

Phifer is an owner of a number Athlete's Foot athletic-shoe store franchises in California.[2]

In January 2011 Mekhi Phifer launched Third Reel Films[10] The stated mission of the company is to provide an environment for filmmakers to showcase their work to entertainment representatives, acquisition executives and other key industry professionals.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BIRTHDAYS 29 Dec: Mary Tyler Moore is 74. Ted Danson is 64. Patricia Clarkson is 52. Jude Law is 39. @MekhiPhifer is 37. Diego Luna is 32.6". Mekhi Phifer Verified Twitter. 29 Dec 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2014. "Mekhi Phifer retweeted this to his Verified Twitter Account" 
  2. ^ a b c "Mekhi Phifer". TVGuide.com. Archived from the original on May 7, 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  3. ^ Mekhi Phifer Biography (1975–) from filmreference.com
  4. ^ "'Lie to Me' recruits Mekhi Phifer". Zap2it. Retrieved May 6, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Top Chef Masters Announces Season 2 Competitors and Guests". TVGuide.com. 
  6. ^ Hollywood Stars Drop in on Male Newylweds in 'Husbands', Tubefilter.com, retrieved August 18, 2012 
  7. ^ Mekhi Phifer Files For Bankruptcy, Reportedly $1.3 Million In Debt http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/07/mekhi-phifer-bankrupt-debt_n_5279637.html
  8. ^ Actor, Mekhi Phifer is $1.3 Million In Debt, He Files For Bankruptcy http://netloid.com/news/actor-mekhi-phifer-is-1-3-million-in-debt-he-files-for-bankruptcy
  9. ^ The Vine Group, USA
  10. ^ Thirdreel,

External links[edit]