Mekhi Phifer

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Mekhi Phifer
Mekhi Phifer at 2011 Comic-Con International (5983164175) (cropped).jpg
Phifer at the 2011 Comic-Con International
Born(1974-12-29) December 29, 1974 (age 39)
Harlem, Manhattan, New York, U.S.
OccupationActor, director, producer, rapper
Years active1995–present
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Mekhi Phifer
Mekhi Phifer at 2011 Comic-Con International (5983164175) (cropped).jpg
Phifer at the 2011 Comic-Con International
Born(1974-12-29) December 29, 1974 (age 39)
Harlem, Manhattan, New York, U.S.
OccupationActor, director, producer, rapper
Years active1995–present

Mekhi Phifer (/mɛˌk ˈffər/; born December 29, 1974)[1][2]is an American actor. He portrayed Dr. Greg Pratt on NBC's long-running medical drama ER and had a co-starring role opposite Eminem in the feature film 8 Mile. He was a regular on the Fox crime show Lie to Me in the role of Ben Reynolds, before season 3, and also starred as CIA agent Rex Matheson in Torchwood: Miracle Day.

Early life[edit]

Phifer was born in Harlem, New York City. He grew up in a single-parent household with his mother, Rhoda Phifer, a high school teacher.[3]


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.[2] 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 fright flick 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 6 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.[4]

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.

Mekhi Phifer will appear as a guest on Season 2 of Top Chef Masters.[5]

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

Phifer made a guest appearance on the sitcom series Husbands in its second season.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Phifer has a son, Omikaye, with his ex-wife, actress Malinda Williams. His second son, Mekhi Thira Phifer Jr., was born to Oni Souratha in Los Angeles on October 30, 2007. On March 30, 2013, Phifer wed his long time girlfriend Reshelet Barnes, in Beverly Hills, California. Phifer filed for bankruptcy in April owing $1.2 million[7] in back taxes,[8] $50,000 in lawyers bills and $4,500 in back child support.


1995The Tuskegee AirmenLewis Johns
ClockersRonald 'Strike' Dunham
1996High School HighGriff McReynolds
1997Soul FoodLem
1998Hell's KitchenJohnny
1998I Still Know What You Did Last SummerTyrell
1999A Lesson Before DyingJefferson
Uninvited GuestSilk
2000ShaftTrey Howard
2001Carmen: A Hip HoperaDerek Hill
OOdin "O" James
Brian's SongGale Sayers
20028 MileDavid "Future" Porter
Paid in FullMitch
2004Dawn of the DeadAndre
2005Slow BurnIsaac Duperde
2006Puff, Puff, PassBig Daddy
2007This ChristmasGerald
2008Nora's Hair Salon 2: A Cut AboveDr. Terry
A Talent for TroubleMekhi
2009A Day in the LifeKing Khi
2011Last Man StandingJeremy Davis
2012The Love SectionJames Johnson
2012The SuspectThe Suspect
2012White CollarKyle Collins
2014A Day Late and a Dollar ShortLewis
2015The Divergent Series: InsurgentMaxPost-production

Television appearances[edit]

Music videos[edit]

Other activities[edit]

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.[9] 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

Phifer is an owner of a number Athlete's Foot athletic-shoe store franchises in California.[2]

In January 2011 Mekhi Phifer launched Third Reel Films[10] 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.


  1. ^ "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 32.6". Mekhi Phifer Verified Twitter. 29 Dec 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2014. "Mekhi Phifer retweeted this to his Verified Twitter Account" 
  2. ^ a b c "Mekhi Phifer". Archived from the original on May 7, 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  3. ^ Mekhi Phifer Biography (1975–) from
  4. ^ "'Lie to Me' recruits Mekhi Phifer". Zap2it. Retrieved May 6, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Top Chef Masters Announces Season 2 Competitors and Guests". 
  6. ^ Hollywood Stars Drop in on Male Newylweds in 'Husbands',, retrieved August 18, 2012 
  7. ^ Mekhi Phifer Files For Bankruptcy, Reportedly $1.3 Million In Debt
  8. ^ Actor, Mekhi Phifer is $1.3 Million In Debt, He Files For Bankruptcy
  9. ^ The Vine Group, USA
  10. ^ Thirdreel,

External links[edit]