Mekhi Phifer

Mekhi Phifer

Born
December 29, 1974 ( age: 43 )
Harlem, Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Occupation (s)
  • Actor
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Rapper
Years active

1995–present

Spouse
  • Reshelet Barnes
  • (2013–present)
Children

2

Nationality

American

Career

In 1994, Mekhi 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. 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 horror film 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 six 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.

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.

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 starred as Agent Collins in the fourth season of White Collar.

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

Filmography

Year    Title

1995  The Tuskegee Airmen

Clockers

1996  High School High

1997  Soul Food

1998  Hell's Kitchen

1998  I Still Know What You Did Last Summer

1999  A Lesson Before Dying

Uninvited Guest

2000  Shaft

2001  Carmen: A Hip Hopera

O

Brian's Song

2002  8 Mile

Paid in Full

Impostor

2003  Honey

2004  Dawn of the Dead

2005  Slow Burn

2006  Puff, Puff, Pass

2007  This Christmas

2008  Nora's Hair Salon 2: A Cut Above

A Talent for Trouble

2009  A Day in the Life

2011  Flypaper

2011  Last Man Standing

2012  The Love Section

2012  White Collar

2013  The Suspect

2014  A Day Late and a Dollar Short

2014  Divergent

2015  The Divergent Series: Insurgent

2016  The Divergent Series: Allegiant