Hill Harper

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Hill Harper
Hill Harper.jpg
Harper with his book Letters to a Young Brother in St. Louis (2007)
Francis Eugene Harper[1]

(1966-05-17) May 17, 1966 (age 56)
Other namesFrank Harper
F. Hill Harper
EducationBrown University (BA)
Harvard University (MPA, JD)
OccupationActor, author
Years active1993–present

Francis Eugene "Hill" Harper (born May 17, 1966) is an American actor and author. He is known for his roles on CSI: NY, Limitless and The Good Doctor.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Harper was born in Iowa City, Iowa, the son of Harry D. Harper, II, a psychiatrist, and Marilyn Harper (née Hill), who was one of the first black practicing anesthesiologists in the United States and co-authored a book called Wearing Purple.[3][4][5][6] Born Francis Eugene Harper, he adopted the name "Hill" as a tribute to both his maternal and paternal ancestors.[1]

Harper has been acting since the age of 7. Harper graduated from Bella Vista High School in 1984.

Harper then graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 1988. In 1992, he graduated with a JD, cum laude, from Harvard Law School. He received his Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard Kennedy School at Harvard University.[7] During his years at Harvard, he was a full-time member of Boston's Black Folks Theater Company, one of the oldest and most acclaimed black theater troupes in the country.[8] While a student at Harvard, Harper befriended Barack Obama, with whom he played basketball.[9][10]

He decided to pursue acting and moved to Los Angeles. He has received several honorary degrees, including honorary doctorates from both Westfield State College and Howard University.[11]

Acting career[edit]

Harper's first roles in television began in 1993, in a recurring role on the Fox series Married... with Children, while also making his film debut in the short film Confessions of a Dog. He had his first acting role in a feature film with Spike Lee's Get on the Bus (1996), which cast him as a UCLA film student riding a bus to the Million Man March in Washington, D.C. He went on to further demonstrate his versatility in such films as Christopher Scott Cherot's Hav Plenty (1997) and Lee's He Got Game (1998), the former of which featured him as an egotistical pop-soul singer.

His profile subsequently rose on both the mainstream and independent film circuits, thanks to roles in films ranging from Beloved (1998) to the independent romantic comedy Loving Jezebel (1999) to The Skulls (2000). Harper did some of his most acclaimed work in Jordan Walker-Pearlman's The Visit (2000), an independent drama in which he starred as a prisoner dying of AIDS who tries to put his life back together.[12] He also portrayed Leshem in the 2010 Syfy original movie Stonehenge Apocalypse.[13]

Harper played coroner-turned-crime scene investigator Sheldon Hawkes on the CBS crime drama CSI: NY for nine seasons.

In February 2013, it was announced that CSI: NY would be ending and Harper would be joining the cast of Covert Affairs as a series regular.[14]

From April 21, 2015, to May 10, 2015, Harper starred as "Hard Rock" in the Off-Broadway play ToasT. The play (produced by Lemon Andersen and co-starred Keith David) is set in the Attica Prison around the time of its 1971 prison riot and tells of the lives of its prisoners using poetic prose.[15]

From May 1, 2018, to June 17, 2018, Harper starred as "Rooftop" in the Off-Broadway play Our Lady of 121st Street. This Dark Comedy (written by Stephen Adly Guirgis and directed by Phylicia Rashad) is about former students paying their respects to Sister Rose, only to find that Sister Rose's body has been stolen.[16]

Since 2017, Harper has portrayed Dr. Marcus Andrews on the ABC series The Good Doctor.

Hill Harper's acting career also includes voice-over work (or voice acting) with CSI:NY the Video Game, Breathe Bible, plus, podcasts called Legal Wars and 5-Factor Authentication.[17][18][19]

Writing career and political advocacy[edit]

Harper is the author of several books: Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny, published in 2006; Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny, published in 2008; and The Conversation: How (Black) Men and Women Can Build Loving, Trusting Relationships, published in 2010. His books, The Wealth Cure: Putting Money in Its Place and The Wiley Boys were both published in 2011. His book, Letters to an Incarcerated Brother: Encouragement, Hope, and Healing for Inmates and Their Loved Ones was published in 2013.

In January 2008, Harper participated in "Yes We Can", a music video produced by will.i.am supporting presidential candidate Barack Obama. Harper is a member of the Obama for America National Finance Committee.[20]

As of October 2009, Hill has made several contributions to political candidates, exclusively to Democrats. Harper endorsed the 10,000 Bookbags[21] back-to-school backpack campaign to help local disadvantaged children with Urban Change Ministries founder Pastor Jay Cameron of the Life Center, and R&B singer Ginuwine.[22]

Harper stated that he is a fiscal conservative when he appeared on the political talk show Hannity on September 10, 2009. On February 22, 2016, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law announced that Harper would be their national spokesman.[23]

Harper serves as the executive director for New York City personal injury law firm Napoli Shkolnik.[24]

Other endeavors[edit]

Be The Architect[edit]

After being diagnosed with thyroid cancer, Harper researched the effects skin care products can have on a person's system. This led to his creating an all-natural personal care line for men and women, called Be The Architect.[25][26][27]

The Black Wall Street[edit]

On May 31, 2021, Hill Harper & his partners launched the first Black-Owned digital wallet and Cryptocurrency Exchange App.[28]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In the fall of 2008, Harper was initiated as a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity with his Co-Initiates (called "Line Brothers") Dr. Naim Akbar of Florida State University and former NFL player Leo LeMarcus Newman.[29]

Harper won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series for three consecutive years (2008–2010) for his portrayal of Dr. Sheldon Hawkes on CSI: NY. Previously he had been nominated for the award for three consecutive years (2005–2007), for the same character. In 2000, he had also been nominated for the award, for his role in the medical drama City of Angels. On January 9, 2014, his book Letters to an Incarcerated Brother: Encouragement, Hope, and Healing for Inmates and Their Loved Ones was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Non-Fiction.

In 2018, the Audience Development Committee, Inc. (AUDELCO) nominated Hill Harper for a Vivian Robinson Award; Lead Actor in a Play, for his role as Walter "Rooftop" Desmond in the Off-Broadway play: Our Lady of 121st Street.[30]

On Sunday, December 5, 2021, the Boston, Massachusetts' Museum of African American History honored Hill Harper with a Living Legends award - The Garrison Silver Cup.[31]

People magazine named Hill Harper as one of the "Sexiest Men Alive" for 2004, and again for 2014.[32][33]

Personal life[edit]

While writing his book The Wealth Cure: Putting Money In Its Place, Harper was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. After treatment, he was given a clean bill of health.[34]

In November 2015, Harper received a call to adopt a baby boy from a homeless woman. He agreed, and by May 2017, the adoption of Pierce (named after Pierce Brosnan) Hill Harper was finalized.[35][36][37]



Year Title Role Notes
1993 Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings Peter
1995 Drifting School Sam
1996 Get on the Bus Xavier
1997 Steel Slats
1997 Hav Plenty Michael Simmons
1997 Hoover Park
1998 The Nephew Chad Egan-Washington
1998 He Got Game Coleman 'Booger' Sykes
1998 Park Day Steve Johnson
1998 Beloved Halle
1999 Slaves of Hollywood Fisher Lovelace Feature Film[38]
1999 Loving Jezebel Theodorous
1999 In Too Deep Breezy T.
2000 The Skulls Will Beckford
2000 The Visit Alex Waters Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
2001 Higher Ed Craig
2002 The Badge Gizmo
2003 Love, Sex and Eating the Bones Michael Joseph
2004 America Brown John Cross
2005 Constellation Errol Hickman
2006 Max and Josh Max Short film[39]
2006 Premium Ed
2006 The Breed Noah
2006 30 Days Donnell
2006 Whitepaddy Marshall Evans
2008 A Good Man Is Hard to Find Damion Marshall
2008 This Is Not a Test Carl
2010 For Colored Girls Donald Watkins
2011 Mama, I Want to Sing! Jeff Andrews
2011 The Shanghai Hotel Carlos
2013 Miss Dial Political Nutcase
2013 The Volunteer Phil
2013 1982 Tim Brown
2014 Parts per Billion Rick
2015 The Boy Next Door Principal Edward Warren
2015 Pearly Gates Dave
2015 Concussion Christopher Jones
2016 Destined Mayor Jones
2017 All Eyez on Me Journalist Biographical film debuted Friday, June 16, 2017; what would have been Tupac Shakur's 46th birthday.[40]
2018 An Interview with God Gary Theater Release Dates: August 20, 21 & 22, 2018 only.
2019 The Sun Is Also a Star Lester Barnes Film debuted Friday, May 17, 2019, on Hill Harper's 53rd birthday.[41]
2020 The Prison Within Himself / Narrator Documentary
TBA Shadowbox Harper is also an Executive Producer. The film's Developmental Short is called "Butterfly Boxing".[42]


Year Title Role Notes
1993 Life Goes On Nurse No. 2 Episode: "Incident on Main"
1993–94 Married... with Children Aaron Mitchell Recurring
5 episodes
1994 Renegade Clarence 'Dex' Dexter Episode: "South of 98"
M.A.N.T.I.S. Episode: "Tango Blue"
Walker, Texas Ranger B.J. Mays Episode: "Badge of Honor"
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Dana Episode: "Will Steps Out"
1995 The Client J-Top Episode: "Them That Has..."
Live Shot Tommy Greer Main
13 episodes
1996 NYPD Blue Bo-Bo Thomas Episode: "The Blackboard Jungle"
Dangerous Minds Darryl Episode: "Family Ties"
1997 Oddville, MTV Episode No. 44
ER Mr. Jackson Episode: "Obstruction of Justice"
1998 Cosby Preston Episode: "Men Are from Mars Women Are from Astoria"
Mama Flora's Family Don Television film
2000 City of Angels Dr. Wesley Williams Main
24 episodes
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
2002 The Court Christopher Bell Unsold TV pilot
The Twilight Zone Professor John Woodrell Episode: "Shades of Guilt"[43]
2003–04 The Handler Darnell Main
16 episodes
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Television Series
2004 Soul Food Kelvin Chadway Recurring
2 episodes
The Sopranos Stokley Davenport M.D. Episode: "Irregular Around the Margins"
CSI: Miami Dr. Sheldon Hawkes Episode: "MIA/NYC NonStop"
2004–13 CSI: NY Dr. Sheldon Hawkes Main
197 episodes
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series (2008–10)
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series (2005–07, 2011–13)
2005 I Love the '90s: Part Deux Himself Documentary miniseries
The 4400 Edwin Mayuya Episode: "Rebirth"
Lackawanna Blues Ruben, Jr. (Adult) Television film
2009 The Game Himself Episode: "Hill Street Blues"
2010 Stonehenge Apocalypse Joseph Lesham Television film
2011 The Real Housewives of Atlanta Himself Episode: "Tour-Ture"
2013–14 Covert Affairs Calder Michaels Main
32 episodes
2015 Madam Secretary Aiden Humphrey Episode: "The Kill List"
2015–16 Limitless Spelman Boyle Main
22 episodes
Character named after Spelman College.
2016 Braxton Family Values Himself Episode: "You Gotta Get Pelvic to Pelvic!"
Unsung Hollywood Himself Episode: "Hill Harper"[44]
2017 The Real Housewives of Potomac Himself Episode: "Don't Let the Zip Code Fool Ya"
Homeland Chief of Staff, Rob Emmons Recurring
11 episodes[45]
2017–21 How It Really Happened Himself Host and Narrator of 12-episode anthology reality series.[46]
2017–present The Good Doctor Dr. Marcus Andrews Main
2018 Black Love Himself Special Episode: "Motherly Love"
2019 The $100,000 Pyramid Himself Episode 409 (Season 4; Episode 9)
2020 Mentoring Kings Himself Docuseries
2022 Super Pumped Eric Holder Episode: "Delete Uber"


Year Title Role
2001 Dogeaters Joey Sands
2001 Blue (Adult) Reuben Clark
2015 ToasT Hard Rock
2018 Our Lady of 121st Street Walter "Rooftop" Desmond

Published works[edit]

  • Harper, Hill (2007). Letters to a Young Brother: Manifest Your Destiny. Gotham. ISBN 978-1592402496.
  • Harper, Hill (2009). Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny. Gotham. ISBN 978-1592404599.
  • Harper, Hill (2010). The Conversation: How (Black) Men and Women Can Build Loving, Trusting Relationships. Gotham. ISBN 978-1592405787.
  • Harper, Hill (2011). The Wealth Cure: Putting Money in Its Place. Gotham. ISBN 978-1592406500.
  • Harper, Hill (2011). The Wiley Boys. Harper Hill. ISBN 978-0974721873.
  • Harper, Hill (2013). Letters to an Incarcerated Brother: Encouragement, Hope, and Healing for Inmates and Their Loved Ones. Gotham. ISBN 978-1592407248.


  1. ^ a b "8 Things You Didn't Know About Actor Hill Harper" HuffPost Retrieved July 3, 2016
  2. ^ The8App; Photos, ContributorShare; Rewarded, Videos With Friends Get (June 15, 2016). "8 Things You Didn't Know About Actor Hill Harper". HuffPost. Retrieved April 16, 2021. {{cite web}}: |first2= has generic name (help)
  3. ^ "Hill Harper: Biography, Latest News & Videos". TV Guide. Retrieved June 30, 2007.
  4. ^ Huntley, Kristine (January 25, 2006). "Hill Harper". CSI Files. Retrieved May 10, 2007.
  5. ^ Lynn (May 4, 2007). "Hill Harper is Much More Than Meets the Eye". EveryJoe.com. Retrieved May 10, 2007.
  6. ^ "Wearing Purple" book Retrieved August 29, 2018
  7. ^ "Hill Harper bio". Manifest Your Destiny Foundation. Retrieved November 15, 2010. Archived July 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Miller, Kiley (December 15, 2007). "Actor returns to Iowa for Obama". The Hawk Eye. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  9. ^ Dani, Sarika (October 24, 2008). "Actor and Obama pal Hill Harper: 'He gets it right'". MSNBC. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
  10. ^ Berman, Jillian (July 20, 2015). "What this CSI star and Barack Obama have in common". MarketWatch. Archived from the original on February 19, 2019. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  11. ^ "Hill Harper has received 7 honorary doctorate degrees." Manifest Your Destiny Foundation's web site Retrieved April 19, 2016
  12. ^ Scott, A. O. (December 15, 2000). "Overcoming Bitterness On the Way to Redemption". The New York Times. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  13. ^ Foy, Scott (June 9, 2010). "Watch a Preview of the Stonehenge Apocalypse!". DreadCentral. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  14. ^ Ng, Philiana (February 22, 2013). "CSI: NY Star Hill Harper Joins Covert Affairs as Series Regular". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
  15. ^ ToasT Opens in Public Theatre Archived September 4, 2017, at the Wayback Machine BroadwayBlack.com Retrieved July 24, 2016
  16. ^ Our Lady of 121st Street, Directed by Tony Winner Phylicia Rashad, Begins Off-Broadway Playbill. Retrieved May 2, 2018
  17. ^ Hill Harper, The Voice of Mark BreatheBible.com Retrieved September 18, 2017
  18. ^ "Legal Wars" from Wonderly Podnews.net Retrieved October 12, 2018
  19. ^ Norton Security & Hill Harper Announce New "5-Factor Authentication" Podcast Retrieved August 25, 2022
  20. ^ "Obama for America National Finance Committee". George Washington University. Retrieved June 1, 2008.
  21. ^ "Support Our 10,000 Bookbag Giveaway on 8.8.09". The Life Center – Urban Change. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  22. ^ Pendleton, Tonya (August 12, 2009). "Ginuwine, Hill Harper Lead Back-to-School Effort" Archived April 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. BlackAmericaWeb.com. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  23. ^ "Hill Harper Named as Lawyers' Committee's National Spokesperson" Archived April 23, 2016, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved February 22, 2016
  24. ^ "Hill Harper · Attorneys · Napoli Shkolnik". Napoli Shkolnik PLLC. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  25. ^ "Hill Harper Launches Men's and Women's Skin Care Line". Ebony. March 8, 2017. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
  26. ^ "How Hill Harper's H2L & JUA Men and Women Skin Care Line May Improve Organ Health". TheBlackMedia.org. March 3, 2017. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
  27. ^ Hill Harper Talks About His New Skin Care Line on The Steve Harvey Show on YouTube Retrieved April 28, 2017
  28. ^ Perkins, Njera (April 13, 2021). "Hill Harper Launches First Black-Owned Digital Wallet And Cryptocurrency Exchange App In U.S. History". AfroTech. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  29. ^ "Actor Hill Harper Is INDUCTED into the African American Fraternity ALPHA PHI ALPHA"[permanent dead link]. Media Take Out. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  30. ^ 2018 AUDELCO Nominations Retrieved May 12, 2019
  31. ^ Massachusetts' Museum of African American History's 2021 Living Legends Gala Retrieved December 6, 2021
  32. ^ "Sexiest Men Alive List 2004"People Retrieved July 4, 2016
  33. ^ "Sexiest Men Alive List 2014 : Sexy at Every Age"People Retrieved July 4, 2016
  34. ^ Rhone, Nedra (August 22, 2011). "Actor Hill Harper cures his health and America's wealth". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on September 10, 2011. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
  35. ^ "Hill Harper Reveals Adoption at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit 2017". blackenterprise.com. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
  36. ^ Hill Harper Reveals Name of Son on Good Morning America on YouTube Retrieved June 16, 2017
  37. ^ Hill Harper Reveals Son Is Named After Pierce Brosnan on Access Hollywood Live Retrieved April 5, 2018
  38. ^ "Slaves of Hollywood" Retrieved February 20, 2017
  39. ^ "Max and Josh Film Short" Retrieved February 11, 2017
  40. ^ "Tupac's Highly-Anticipated Biopic Receives Official Release Date". November 22, 2016.
  41. ^ The Sun Is Also A Star movie trailer Retrieved May 2, 2019
  42. ^ Rice, Lynette. "Joslyn Rose Lyons Makes Directorial Debut With 'Shadowbox' Starring Hill Harper, J. Alphonse Nicholson". Deadline Hollywood.
  43. ^ "Shades of Guilt" Retrieved February 20, 2017
  44. ^ "Unsung Hollywood: Hill Harper" Retrieved November 10, 2017
  45. ^ "'Homeland' adds actors from 'The Flash,' 'Limitless'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  46. ^ "HLN Launches New Original Series 'How It Really Happened with Hill Harper' on January 27". Retrieved January 13, 2017.

External links[edit]