Ilfenesh Hadera

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Ilfenesh Hadera
Ilfenesh Hadera, The Women of Billions.jpg
Hadera on Billions in 2017
Ilfenesh Hadera

(1985-12-01) December 1, 1985 (age 34)
Years active2010–present

Ilfenesh Hadera (born December 1, 1985) is an Ethiopian-American actress. She co-starred in the 2017 film Baywatch as Stephanie Holden. On September 29, 2019, Hadera began starring as Mayme Johnson, the wife of Bumpy Johnson in the premiere of the American crime drama television series, Godfather of Harlem on Epix.[1]

Early life[edit]

Hadera was born on December 1, 1985 in Harlem.[2] She is of Ethiopian and European descent.[3] Her father Asfaha is an Ethiopian Tigrayan refugee and founder of the African Services Committee, a Harlem based NGO which works with African immigrants.[4] Her mother, Kim Nichols is a Co-Executive Director of ASC, and Hadera volunteered with the group prior to her acting career.[4][5] Hadera also worked as a waitress for 10 years prior to her television debut.[6]

She attended The Harlem School of the Arts, followed by the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School. Hadera went on to receive an MFA in Text and Performance studies from RADA/King's College London.[7]


In 2010 Hadera made her acting debut in the film 1/20.[8]

A frequent collaborator with Spike Lee, she has appeared in Da Brick, The Blacklist, Oldboy, Show Me a Hero, Chi-Raq, Chicago Fire, The Punisher, and She's Gotta Have It.

She co-starred as Stephanie Holden in the 2017 film Baywatch, and as of 2018 is starring as Kay Daniels in the TV series Deception. She has a recurring role in the Showtime Series Billions, as a secretary to billionaire fund manager Bobby Axelrod, played by Damian Lewis.



Year Title Role Notes
2010 1/20 Hazel
2013 Oldboy Judy
2015 Chi-Raq Ms. McCloud
2017 Baywatch Stephanie Holden


Year Title Role Notes
2011 Da Brick Saalinge Television film
2013 The Blacklist Jennifer Palmer Episode: "Pilot"
2015 Show Me a Hero Carmen Febles Television mini-series
2015 Chicago Fire Serena Recurring role; 3 episodes
2016 Difficult People Abby Episode: "Patches"
2016-2017 Billions Deb Kawi Recurring role; 20 episodes
2016 Conviction Naomi Golden Recurring role; 2 episodes
2017 Master of None Lisa Recurring role; 3 episodes
2017 The Punisher Mistress Episode: "Crosshairs"
2017-2019 She's Gotta Have It Opal Gilstrap Recurring role; 10 episodes
2018 Deception Kay Daniels Main role; 13 episodes
2019 Godfather of Harlem Mayme Johnson Main Role


  1. ^ Wills, Cortney (October 4, 2019). "Ilfenesh Hadera on Godfather of Harlem role". The Grio.
  2. ^ "Ilfenesh Hadera: Spike Lee Alum And DJ School Dropout". Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  3. ^ Falcone, Dana (September 2017). "An Actress Advocating for Refugees". Time.
  4. ^ a b "Asfaha Hadera". African Services Committee. November 11, 2019.
  5. ^ O'Donnell, Dora (January 4, 2018). "Meet 'Baywatch' Actress and Activist Ilfenesh Hadera". Red Bull.
  6. ^ "Ilfenesh Hadera Biography". IMDb. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  7. ^ Magazine, Harlem World (2017-05-27). "From Harlem To 'Baywatch' With Ilfenesh Hadera". Harlem World Magazine. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  8. ^ ""Deception" Star Ilfenesh Hadera's Career is Honestly a Dream Come True |". SBU News. 2018-03-26. Retrieved 2020-02-14.

External links[edit]