Edit
Mekhi Phifer Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (14) | Personal Quotes (20)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 29 December 1974Harlem, New York City, New York, USA
Birth NameMekhi Thira Phifer
Height 5' 9½" (1.77 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Mekhi Phifer was born in Harlem, Manhattan, and was raised by his mother, Rhoda, a high school teacher. Phifer's acting career began when he auditioned at an open casting call for director Spike Lee's Clockers (1995) and was selected for the leading role. Working alongside Harvey Keitel and Delroy Lindo, he garnered critical acclaim for his compelling performance as Strike, a young New Jersey drug dealer involved in a murder cover-up. Following his impressive screen debut, he appeared in the comedy spoof High School High (1996). In the Columbia/Tristar thriller I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), he co-starred with Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddie Prinze Jr. He also starred in Soul Food (1997), 20th Century Fox's film that starred Vanessa Williams, Vivica A. Fox and Nia Long. In 2002, Phifer starred as Future, opposite Eminem, Brittany Murphy and Kim Basinger in Curtis Hanson's critically acclaimed film, 8 Mile (2002), as well as in the Miramax feature Paid in Full (2002), directed by Charles Stone III. In June, he was honored by the American Black Film Festival, receiving the organization's "Rising Star" Award. Phifer also recently appeared in the feature film O (2001), where he starred opposite Julia Stiles and Josh Hartnett. Based on William Shakespeare's Othello, he portrayed Odin, the captain of a champion high school basketball team whose best friend becomes jealous of his relationship with his girlfriend. In addition to his escalating film career, Mr. Phifer added to his growing list of television credits a starring role on the Emmy Award winning series, ER (1994) as Dr. Gregory Pratt, for which he recently received a NAACP Image Award Nomination. Mekhi Phifer's other television credits include leading roles in MTV's highly rated film Carmen: A Hip Hopera (2001), in which he did all his own rap work and starred opposite Beyoncé Knowles. He appeared in the Emmy award winning HBO Original Movie, A Lesson Before Dying (1999) with Don Cheadle and Cicely Tyson, where his subtle performance as a man on death row won rave reviews and also earned him an NAACP Image Award Nomination. He tackled the challenging role of NFL Hall of Famer Gale Sayers in the ABC television special Brian's Song (2001) and appeared in the celebrated HBO Original Film The Tuskegee Airmen (1995). Phifer has also made guest appearances on the popular police dramas Homicide: Life on the Street (1993) and New York Undercover (1994). Phifer recently completed work on Universal's Honey (2003), starring alongside Jessica Alba. He can also be seen in the Universal remake of the 1978 horror classic Dawn of the Dead (2004), starring Ving Rhames and Sarah Polley, and Slow Burn (2005) opposite Ray Liotta.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Carleen Donovan

Spouse (2)

Reshelet Barnes (30 March 2013 - present)
Malinda Williams (1999 - 2003) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (14)

Was the first choice to play Quincy McCall in Love & Basketball (2000), but had to drop out due to a schedule conflict and was replaced by Omar Epps.
First name is pronounced "Meck-high".
Son named Omikaye with actress Malinda Williams.
Has been "Punk'd" by Ashton Kutcher.
Owns an "Athlete's Foot" store franchise, which sells athletic footwear in California. Owns six stores with two of them up and running.
Along with the Pennsylvania-based charity organization The Vine Group, he donated over $100,000 in scholarships, books and computers to Ibadan, Nigeria, where the Mekhi Phifer Education Center will open in 2005 to help poor children get an education.
Good friends with ER (1994) costar, Goran Visnjic.
Enjoys going to the rifle ranges around Los Angeles and target shooting to relieve stress and have fun.
Good friends with Eminem.
Is mentioned in Eminem's song "Lose Yourself." The song is part of the 8 Mile (2002) soundtrack. Phifer and Eminem both starred in this movie.
Was originally a rapper signed to Warner Brothers records.
Engaged to director assistant Onanong Souratha on May 9, 2007.
Appeared in Vibe magazine for the article "Can't A Brother Get No Love". [August 1999]
Son, Mekhi Thira Phifer, Jr., born 30 October 2007. Mother is fiancée Onanong Souratha.

Personal Quotes (20)

I know a lot of people who are weak, who are in a perpetual cycle of poverty and being locked up. There are guys from my neighborhood who are in jail or who are dead. It does take a certain strength to know your environment and say, 'I can grow beyond it.'
I love kids, outings, camping, sports, Legoland, all the Daddy stuff. I love it. I wish I could just do that, but I have to work, too.
I grew up in a rough environment. You want to be strong and have your presence felt out there. That attitude reflects how people see you.
I always try to bring a certain masculine presence to what I do. That is part of the dynamic.
Eating right has made the biggest difference in my body.
I've dated interracially a lot. I grew up in Harlem, so I've dated Latins, Dominican, Guyanese, Cuban, black, white.
I'm an avid watcher of the Nat Geo channel, where I watch shows about how the planets are formed, and shows about moons, quasars, black holes.
I'm a soccer dad at heart. I want five kids, and I want to get married. I want to coach Little League.
I tend to play more true-to-life characters in real situations.
I love working with Sally Field, and Steve Buscemi is one of the most giving, talented actors I've ever worked with.
Rap is definitely a youthful expression.
I've done 21 films in eight years, and I've said 'No' more times than I've done films.
It's always a pleasure when you get to work with people that you actually really like.
Once or twice a week, I try to do some kind of boxing. I'm hitting the bags and jumping rope - all that stuff.
There's no question that I'm African-American. OK? I'm a black man. We're not going to escape that.
When you're working and making money, that's all good, but there has to be something that provides a substance, I think.
With my first son I cut his umbilical cord and everything, so I'm a hands-on father, to say the least.
When break dancing was out, I break danced. When rapping was the thing, I freestyled rap on the street and battled and all that kind of stuff.
Actors look at life in a different way. When I meet people, I know that one day I may portray that person or someone like them. It may be a cop or a homeless guy. It helps you to pay more attention to people. Everyone I meet, I retain something from them, something from their personality. It helps me to portray realism in my work.
I don't really like hospitals that much. People are sick; sometimes it can be depressing. There's people going through a lot of pain in there. It has that funny smell.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page