Mekhi Phifer (/
Phifer at the 2011 Comic-Con International
|Occupation||Actor, director, producer, rapper|
(m. 1999; div. 2003)
Reshelet Barnes (m. 2013)
In 1994, 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'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.
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, an urban classic, that has given him notorious recognition as he portrayed Mitch and director Curtis Hanson's 8 Mile, opposite Eminem. He is mentioned in the Grammy- and Academy Award-winning song "Lose Yourself" by Eminem.
Phifer starred as Agent Collins in the fourth season of White Collar.
In fall 2016, he joined the TV series Frequency as a series regular.
Phifer has a son with his former wife, actress Malinda Williams. His second son was born to Oni Souratha in Los Angeles in 2007. On March 30, 2013, Phifer wed his longtime girlfriend Reshelet Barnes, in Beverly Hills, California.
- New York Undercover, 1995-1996, 2 episodes - Dion Broat and Sekou
- Punk'd, 2004, one episode - Himself
- Curb Your Enthusiasm, 2005, 4 episodes - Omar Jones
- ER, 2002–2008 - Gregory Pratt
- Homicide: Life on the Street, 1996–1998, 3 episodes - Nathaniel Lee 'Junior Bunk' Mahoney
- The Black Poker Stars Invitational, 2008, BET - Himself
- Lie to Me, 2009–2011 - Ben Reynolds
- Torchwood, 2011 - Agent Rex Matheson
- Psych, 2012 - Drake
- White Collar, 2012, 2 episodes - Kyle Collins
- Husbands, 2012 - Mark
- House of Lies, 2014 - Dre Collins
- Roots, 2016 - Jerusalem
- Secret City, 2016 (*US Ambassador to Australia) - Ambassador Moreton
- Frequency, 2016 - Satch Reyna
- Match Game, 2017 - Himself
- Chicago P.D., 2018 - Joe Baker
- The Bobby Brown Story, 2018 - Tommy Brown
- "Many Men (Wish Death)" by 50 Cent
- "The Boy Is Mine" by Brandy and Monica
- "Don't Let Go" by En Vogue
- "Nobody" by Keith Sweat featuring Athena Cage
- "Flava in Ya Ear" by Craig Mack
- "BOOM" by Royce da 5'9"
- "Wu Wear" by Wu-Tang Clan
- "Just Lose It" by Eminem
- "Lose Yourself" by Eminem
- "So Many Ways" by The Braxtons
- "Without Me" by Eminem
Phifer was the 2004 winner of the Celebrity Poker Showdown Championship, defeating Neil Patrick Harris during the fourth season. Phifer plays on the World Poker Tour in the Hollywood Home games for the Love Our Children USA charity. Phifer is chairman of the board of trustees of The Vine Group USA. a non-profit organization established in 2000 to provide educational resources to universities in Africa. He has signed up with Full Tilt Poker. He has his own well on the poker forum 2+2.
In January 2011, Mekhi Phifer launched Third Reel Films. The stated mission of the company is to provide an environment for filmmakers to showcase their work to entertainment representatives, acquisition executives, and other key-industry professionals.
- "BIRTHDAYS 29 Dec: Mary Tyler Moore is 74. Ted Danson is 64. Patricia Clarkson is 52. Jude Law is 39. @MekhiPhifer is 37. Diego Luna is 32". Mekhi Phifer Verified Twitter. December 29, 2011. Retrieved June 30, 2014.
Mekhi Phifer retweeted this to his Verified Twitter Account
- "Mekhi Phifer". TVGuide.com. Archived from the original on May 7, 2014. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
- Mekhi Phifer Biography (1975–) from filmreference.com
- "'Lie to Me' recruits Mekhi Phifer". Zap2it. Retrieved May 6, 2009.
- Hollywood Stars Drop in on Male Newlyweds in 'Husbands', Tubefilter.com, retrieved August 18, 2012
- Saad, Nardine (May 7, 2014). "Report: Mekhi Phifer of 'ER,' 'Divergent' files for bankruptcy". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
- "Former 'ER' actor Mekhi Phifer marries Reshelet Barnes". United Press International. April 1, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
- The Vine Group, USA