Ilfenesh Hadera

Ilfenesh Hadera (born December 1, 1985) is an American actress.

Ilfenesh Hadera
Ilfenesh Hadera, The Women of Billions.jpg
Hadera on Billions in 2017
Born (1985-12-01) December 1, 1985 (age 36)
Years active2010–present

Early lifeEdit

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

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.[5]


In 2010 Hadera made her acting debut in the film 1/20.[6]

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.

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

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.[7]



Year Title Role Notes
2010 1/20 Hazel
2011 Da Brick Saalinge TV Movie
2013 Oldboy Judy
2015 Chi-Raq Ms. McCloud
2017 Baywatch Stephanie Holden


Year Title Role Notes
2013 The Blacklist Jennifer Palmer Episode: "Pilot"
2015 Show Me a Hero Carmen Febles Main Cast
Chicago Fire Serena Holmes Recurring Cast: Season 4
2016 Difficult People Abby Episode: "Patches"
Conviction Naomi Golden Recurring Cast
2016–17 Billions Deb Kawi Recurring Cast: Season 1-2
2017 Master of None Lisa Recurring Cast: Season 2
The Punisher Mistress Episode: "Crosshairs"
2017–19 She's Gotta Have It Opal Gilstrap Recurring Cast
2018 Deception Kay Daniels Main Cast
2019– Godfather of Harlem Mayme Johnson Main Cast
2021 Run the World Herself Episode: "What a Co-inky-dick"
Blue Bloods Det. Angela Reddick Episode: "USA Today" & "Guilt"


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

External linksEdit