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S. Epatha Merkerson

A native of Michigan, S. Epatha Merkerson earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Wayne State University. In 1978, she moved to New York City to apply her craft on stage. Although best known since 1993 as the smart and shrewd Lieutenant Anita Van Buren on the long-running TV crime drama Law & Order (1990), she has a long list of Broadway ... See full bio »

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IMDb Asks: Lisa Edelstein

On Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, IMDb Asks brings you a livestream Q&A and online chat with Lisa Edelstein, star of "Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce." Tune in to to participate in the live conversation and even ask a question yourself. The livestream is best viewed on laptops, desktops, and tablets.

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 11 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

Known For


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Hide Hide Show Show Actress: TV (34 credits)
 2015 Chicago Med (TV Series)
Sharon Goodwin
- Mistaken (2015) ... Sharon Goodwin
- Fallback (2015) ... Sharon Goodwin
- iNO (2015) ... Sharon Goodwin
- Derailed (2015) ... Sharon Goodwin
 2015 Being Mary Jane (TV Series)
Mark's Mother
- Freedom (2015) ... Mark's Mother
 2014 The Gabby Douglas Story (TV Movie)
Miss Caroline
 2013 Deception (TV Series)
- I'll Start with the Hillbilly (2013) ... Beverly
- You're the Bad Guy (2013) ... Beverly
- Good Luck with Your Death (2013) ... Beverly
 2013 Boomerang (TV Movie)
 2012 Drop Dead Diva (TV Series)
Judge Hiller
- Lady Parts (2012) ... Judge Hiller
 2009 Great Performances (TV Series)
 1999-2008 American Masters (TV Series documentary)
Narrator / Eslanda Robeson
- Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun (2008) ... Narrator
- Paul Robeson: Here I Stand (1999) ... Eslanda Robeson (voice)
 2007 The Closer (TV Series)
Dr. Rebecca Dioli
- Culture Shock (2007) ... Dr. Rebecca Dioli
- Manhunt (2007) ... Dr. Rebecca Dioli
- Four to Eight (2007) ... Dr. Rebecca Dioli
 2007 Girl, Positive (TV Movie)
Ariel Winters
 2005 Lackawanna Blues (TV Movie)
Rachel "Nanny" Crosby
 2001 A Girl Thing (TV Movie)
Lani (Co-worker)
 2000 Frasier (TV Series)
Dr. McCaskill
- Dark Side of the Moon (2000) ... Dr. McCaskill
 1998 An Unexpected Life (TV Movie)
Beverly Hawkins
 1996 Breaking Through (TV Movie)
 1995 A Mother's Prayer (TV Movie)
 1994 A Place for Annie (TV Movie)
 1993 South Beach (TV Series)
Madam Bouchard
- I Witness (1993) ... Madam Bouchard
 1993 It's Nothing Personal (TV Movie)
Louise Waters
 1992 ABC Afterschool Specials (TV Series)
Ruth Clayton
- Summer Stories: The Mall - Part 2 (1992) ... Ruth Clayton
 1990 Moe's World (TV Movie)
Moe's Mother
 1990 Equal Justice (TV Series)
Mrs. Walters
- Pilot (1990) ... Mrs. Walters
 1989 CBS Summer Playhouse (TV Series)
- Elysian Fields (1989) ... Jimmie
 1988 The Cosby Show (TV Series)
- Bookworm (1988) ... Elena
Show Show Actress: Movie (18 credits)
Show Show Actress: Video Game (2 credits)
Show Show Actress: Short (1 credit)
Show Show Director: Movie (1 credit)
Show Show Producer: Movie (1 credit)
Show Show Soundtrack: Movie (1 credit)
Show Show Thanks: TV (1 credit)
Show Show Self: TV (44 credits)
Show Show Self: Documentary (2 credits)
Show Show Self: Video (1 credit)
Show Show Archive footage (2 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Stage: Appeared (as "Lola") in the William Inge play "Come Back, Little Sheba" at the Biltmore Theater on Broadway. Revival. and in its Los Angeles showing at the Kirk Douglas Theater. See more »

Publicity Listings:

5 Articles | 1 Magazine Cover Photo | See more »

Alternate Names:

Epatha Merkerson | Epatha Merkinson


5' 6" (1.68 m)

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

On playing Lola in "Come Back Little Sheba": I'm usually typecast as strong, authoritative, so to find that kind of vulnerability is a real challenge. But Lola is not so far from me, either. I was married, and I understand how to be lonely in a marriage. I believe she's in menopause. And that alone, hormonally, can send a woman into a tailspin. Add in her alcoholic husband, and (you've got) a ... See more »


Performing the lead role in "Birdie Bues" in New York City. See more »

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