Michael Ealy

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Michael Ealy
Ealy in 2019
Michael David Brown

(1973-08-03) August 3, 1973 (age 50)
EducationUniversity of Maryland, College Park (BA)
Years active2000–present
Khatira Rafiqzada
(m. 2012)

Michael David Brown (born August 3, 1973),[1] professionally known as Michael Ealy, is an American actor. He is known for his roles in Barbershop (2002), 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), Takers (2010), Think Like a Man (2012), About Last Night (2014), Think Like a Man Too (2014), The Perfect Guy (2015), and The Intruder (2019). He has a number of starring and recurring roles on numerous television sitcoms.

Early life

Ealy was born in Washington, D.C.,[2] and was raised in Silver Spring, Maryland. Ealy went to Springbrook High School[3] and graduated from the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland in 1996 with a degree in English.[4][5] His mother worked for IBM and his father was in the grocery business.[6]


He started his acting career in the late 1990s, appearing in several off-Broadway stage productions. Among his first film roles were Bad Company and Kissing Jessica Stein. His breakout role came in 2002's Barbershop, in which he plays reformed felon Ricky Nash, a role that he reprised in the 2004 sequel, Barbershop 2: Back in Business.[7] In 2003, he played the role of Slap Jack in the second installment of the Fast and the Furious film series, 2 Fast 2 Furious. Later in 2004, Ealy appeared in Never Die Alone with DMX.[8] He also appeared in Mariah Carey's music video for her hit single "Get Your Number" from her 2005 album The Emancipation of Mimi.[5]

In 2005, Ealy co-starred in the Television film version of Their Eyes Were Watching God, produced by Oprah Winfrey and Quincy Jones, and starring Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry.[9] The same year, he starred in the independent film Jellysmoke, directed by Mark Banning. He starred in the Showtime television series Sleeper Cell, the first season of which aired December 4–18, 2005, and the second season of which, Sleeper Cell: American Terror, aired December 10–17, 2006.[10]

On December 14, 2006, Ealy was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his role in Sleeper Cell: American Terror in the category Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.[5] In December 2008 he was featured in the movie Seven Pounds alongside Will Smith as Ben Thomas.[11] He also starred as the male lead in Beyoncé's "Halo" music video,[5] and as CIA Field Officer Marshall Vogel in the ABC television series FlashForward.[12]

Ealy also appears in the limited-edition coffee table book (About Face) by celebrity photographer John Russo, published by Pixie Press Worldwide.[13][14] In 2009, Ealy performed in The People Speak, a documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans, based on historian Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.[15]

Ealy with Lala Anthony in 2012.

In 2010, Ealy appeared as attorney Derrick Bond in the second season of The Good Wife.[16] He co-starred in the 2010 action movie Takers as Jake Attica and appeared as Travis Marks in USA Network's original series Common Law about two cops who have to go to couples counseling because they argue too much. Common Law premiered following Fairly Legal on Friday, May 11, 2012.[17]

Ealy appeared as Dominic in the 2012 ensemble comedy Think Like a Man and its 2014 sequel, Think Like a Man Too,[18] and appeared as "Papa Joe" in the 2012 inspirational film Unconditional.[19] He appeared opposite Think Like a Man co-star Kevin Hart in the 2014 remake of About Last Night.[20]

In 2013, Ealy signed on to play co-lead "Dorian" in the Fox television series Almost Human. The sci-fi police procedural takes place in the year 2048 and follows the relationship between two cops as they struggle to solve futuristic crimes that involve complex technology. Ealy depicts the android "Dorian", an older, "DRN" android model that is considered to be less reliable due to its artificial emotions and that is tasked with protecting his partner John Kennex (Karl Urban).[21] The show aired for one season on Fox from 2013 to 2014.[22]

In 2015, Ealy played serial killer "Theo" in season 3 of the Fox television series The Following.[23] He starred as Eric Warner in the second season of the ABC mystery crime series Secrets and Lies, which aired in the fall of 2016.[24] From 2017 to 2019, Ealy starred in the fourth, fifth and final season of Being Mary Jane opposite Gabrielle Union.[25][26] 2019 also saw Ealy star in Stumptown on ABC alongside Cobie Smulders, Jake Johnson and Camryn Manheim.

Personal life

In October 2012, Ealy married Afghan-American entrepreneur Khatira Rafiqzada,[27] his girlfriend of four years, in a ceremony in Los Angeles,[28] and together they have a son and a daughter.[29][30][31][32]

Ealy is a fan of the Washington Commanders.[33]



Year Film Role Notes
2000 The Lush Life Isaac Youngblood Short
2001 Kissing Jessica Stein Greg
2002 Bad Company G-Mo
Barbershop Ricky Nash
2003 Justice Woody
2 Fast 2 Furious Slap Jack
2004 November Jesse
Never Die Alone Michael
Barbershop 2: Back in Business Ricky Nash
2005 Their Eyes Were Watching God Virgible 'Tea Cake' Woods TV movie
Jellysmoke Jacob
2007 Put It in a Book Akmed Short
Suspect Det. Marcus Tillman TV movie
2008 Miracle at St. Anna Sgt Cummings
Seven Pounds Ben Thomas
2009 The People Speak Himself
2010 Takers Jake Attica
For Colored Girls Beau Willie
2011 Margaret Dave the Lawyer
2012 Underworld: Awakening Detective Sebastian
Think Like a Man Dominic
Unconditional "Papa Joe" Bradford
2013 The Signal Daniel Miller Short
Last Vegas Ezra
2014 About Last Night Danny
Think Like a Man Too Dominic
2015 The Perfect Guy Carter Duncan/Robert Adams
2019 The Intruder Scott Russell
Stucco X Short
Jacob's Ladder Jacob Singer
2020 aTypical Wednesday Dr. Jones
Really Love Yusef Davis
Fatale Derrick Tyler
2022 The Devil You Know Joe McDonald


Year Film Role Notes
2000 Law & Order Private Nelson Episode: "Vaya Con Dios"
Madigan Men Runner Episode: "Love and Dermatology"
2001 Soul Food Steve Episode: "Little Girl Blue"
2002–03 ER Rick Kendrick Episode: "Hindsight" & "A Little Help from My Friends"
2005–06 Sleeper Cell Darwyn al-Sayeed Main Cast
2009 Hawthorne Dr. Alan Phillips Episode: "The Sense of Belonging"
2009–10 FlashForward CIA Agent Marshall Vogel Recurring Cast
2010–11 The Good Wife Derrick Bond Recurring Cast: Season 2
2011 Californication Ben Recurring Cast: Season 4
2012 Common Law Travis Marks Main Cast
2013–14 Almost Human Dorian Main Cast
2015 The Following Theo Noble Main Cast: Season 3
2016 Barbarians Rising Narrator (voice) Main Narrator
Secrets and Lies Eric Warner Main Cast: Season 2
2017–19 Being Mary Jane Justin Talbot Recurring Cast: Season 4, Guest: Season 5
2019 Stumptown Detective Miles Hoffman Main Cast
2020 Westworld Jake Reed Episode: "The Absence of Field" & "Decoherence"
Sherman's Showcase Himself Episode: "Black History Month Spectacular"
2022 The Woman in the House Douglas Main Cast
Bel-Air Reid Broderick Recurring Cast: Season 1
A Black Lady Sketch Show Supreme Rameek Episode: "Save My Edges, I'm a Donor!"
Reasonable Doubt Damon Cooke Main Cast
2023 The Afterparty Quentin Devereaux Episode: "Danner's Fire"

Music videos

Year Music video Artist Role
2005 "Get Your Number" Mariah Carey Love interest of Mariah Carey
2009 "Halo" Beyoncé Knowles Love interest of Beyoncé
2012 "Tonight" John Legend ft. Ludacris Love interest of woman[34]

Awards and nominations

Year Nominated work Award Category Result
2007 Sleeper Cell Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
2005 Their Eyes Were Watching God Black Reel Awards Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series Won
2010 For Colored Girls African-American Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Won
2011 For Colored Girls NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Nominated
2012 Think Like a Man Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actor Romance Nominated


  1. ^ "Michael Ealy Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on February 8, 2008. Retrieved January 5, 2009.
  2. ^ "Michael Ealy (@MichaelEaly) on Twitter". Mobile.twitter.com. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  3. ^ "Local Actor Makes It Big". The Washington Post. March 4, 2005. Retrieved September 13, 2014.
  4. ^ "Commencement(1996)". University of Maryland, College Park. Retrieved July 27, 2023.
  5. ^ a b c d "Michael Ealy biography". TV Guide. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  6. ^ "Michael Ealy on 'Good Wife,' 'Colored Girls', and Doing Laundry - Speakeasy". The Wall Street Journal. November 2, 2010. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  7. ^ "Actor Michael Ealy on "Barbershop 3," "Think Like A Man 3," and Why He Has Blue Eyes". BlackNews.com. Dante Lee International. June 30, 2014. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  8. ^ "Never die alone". RogerEbert.com. March 26, 2004. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  9. ^ "Oprah Winfrey Presents: Their Eyes Were Watching God". Entertainment Weekly. March 2, 2005. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  10. ^ "Sleeper Cell". The New York Times. December 8, 2006. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  11. ^ "Seven Pounds (2008)". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. 2014. Archived from the original on September 13, 2014. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  12. ^ Michael Ausiello (July 19, 2010). "Good Wife' exclusive: 'FlashForward' alum Michael Ealy named partner!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  13. ^ "Site Coming Soon!". Pixiepressworldwide.com. Archived from the original on November 7, 2015. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  14. ^ Metro Source LA magazine[full citation needed]
  15. ^ Ed M. Koziarski (November 10, 2009). "Lupe, Ealy, and The People Speak". Chicago Reader. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  16. ^ Natalie Abrams (July 19, 2010). "Michael Ealy Joins the Cast of The Good Wife". TV Guide. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  17. ^ Amanda Kondolojy (March 2, 2012). "USA Sets 'Common Law' Premiere Date For Friday, May 11 At 10/9c". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
  18. ^ Kristen Page-Kirby (June 20, 2014). "Michael Ealy says 'Think Like a Man Too' ups the romantic ante". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  19. ^ "Michael Ealy talks unconditional". blackenterprise.com. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  20. ^ "Michael Ealy: 'I Had To Lose 25 Pounds For 'About Last Night' Role'". The Grio. February 9, 2014. Retrieved September 12, 2014 – via The Huffington Post.
  21. ^ Natalie Abrams (November 24, 2013). "Almost Human's Michael Ealy Dissects Dorian". TV Guide. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  22. ^ Nellie Andreeva (April 29, 2014). "Fox Drama 'Almost Human' Cancelled". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  23. ^ "Michael Ealy's Big Bad on 'The Following' Is No Clown". Yahoo!. March 30, 2015. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  24. ^ Shelli Weinstein (June 17, 2015). "Michael Ealy Joins Secrets & Lies For the Next Tragic Murder Mystery". TV Guide. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  25. ^ Denise Petski (October 10, 2016). "'Being Mary Jane': Michael Ealy Joins Season 4 Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  26. ^ "Ladies Your #MCM Is Coming to Being Mary Jane!". BET.com. October 10, 2016. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  27. ^ "Michael Ealy honors Afghan wife in Instagram message amid Kabul violence". September 6, 2021.
  28. ^ "Michael Ealy Quietly Married Longtime Girlfriend in October". People. December 20, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  29. ^ "Michael Ealy Announces He Has a Son". Essence. February 15, 2014. Retrieved September 5, 2014.
  30. ^ Jazmine Denise Rogers (June 18, 2014). "Michael Ealy Finally Opens Up About His Marriage And Son". MadameNoire.
  31. ^ The Tom Joyner Morning Show Interview Promoting The Perfect Guy September 2015
  32. ^ "Surprise! Michael Ealy Welcomes Baby Girl With Wife Khatira Rafiqzada". E! Online. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  33. ^ "Q&A With Actor Michael Ealy, Redskins Fan And D.C. Native". Commanders.com. April 25, 2017. Retrieved July 31, 2022.
  34. ^ "Michael Ealy, 'Think Like A Man' and John Legend: The Parlour Review". Parlour Magazine. April 6, 2012. Retrieved September 13, 2014.

External links