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Mekhi Phifer
Mekhi Phifer at 2011 Comic-Con International (5983164175) (cropped).jpg
Phifer at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con
Born (1974-12-29) December 29, 1974 (age 46)
Years active1995–present
(m. 1999; div. 2003)

Reshelet Barnes
(m. 2013)

Mekhi Phifer (/mɛˌkˈffər/; 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 2002 feature film 8 Mile. He was a recurring cast member on the Fox crime show Lie to Me in the role of Ben Reynolds before season three, and also starred as CIA agent Rex Matheson in Torchwood: Miracle Day.

Early life

Phifer was born in Harlem, New York City and 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 horror film I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddie Prinze Jr.. He also starred in the film Paid in Full in 2002.

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 on the flight deck of USS Nimitz in 2004
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 film) 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]

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.

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. In December of that year, he also starred on Broadway in Lydia Diamond's Stick Fly.

Phifer starred as Agent Collins in the fourth season of White Collar.

He made a guest appearance on the sitcom series Husbands in its second season.[5]

In fall 2016, he joined the TV series Frequency as a series regular.

Personal life

Phifer has a son with his former wife, actress Malinda Williams. His second son was born to Oni Souratha in Los Angeles in 2007.[6] On March 30, 2013, Phifer married his longtime girlfriend Reshelet Barnes in Beverly Hills, California.[7]



Year Title Role Notes
1995 Clockers Ronald 'Strike' Dunham
1996 Girl 6 Himself Uncredited cameo
High School High Griff McReynolds
1997 Soul Food Lem Van Adams
1998 Hell's Kitchen Johnny
1998 I Still Know What You Did Last Summer Tyrell Martin
1999 Uninvited Guest Silk
2000 Shaft Trey Howard
2001 Carmen: A Hip Hopera Derek Hill (Don José)
O Odin "O" James
2002 8 Mile David "Future" Porter
Paid in Full Mitch
Impostor Cale
2003 Honey Chaz
2004 Dawn of the Dead Andre
2005 Slow Burn Isaac Duperde
2006 Puff, Puff, Pass Big Daddy
2007 This Christmas Gerald
2008 Nora's Hair Salon 2: A Cut Above Dr. Terry
2009 A Day in the Life King Khi
2011 Flypaper Darrien
2012 The Love Section James Johnson
2013 The Suspect The Suspect
2014 Divergent Max
2015 The Divergent Series: Insurgent Max
2016 Pandemic Gunner
2016 The Divergent Series: Allegiant Max
2017 Chocolate City: Vegas Strip Best Valentine
2018 A Talent for Trouble Mekhi Phifer
Canal Street Prosecutor A.J Canton
2019 Obsession Sonny


Year Title Role Notes
1995 Models Inc. Model #2
The Tuskegee Airmen Lewis Johns TV Movie
1995–1996 New York Undercover Dion Broat and Sekou 2 episodes
1996–1998 Homicide: Life on the Street Nathaniel Lee "Junior Bunk" Mahoney 3 episodes
1997 SUBWAYStories: Tales from the Underground Man in Hallway TV Movie (segment "Fern's Heart of Darkness")
1999 A Lesson Before Dying Jefferson TV Movie
2001 Carmen: A Hip Hopera Derek Hill TV Movie
Brian's Song Gale Sayers TV Movie
2002–2008 ER Gregory Pratt Starring role; seasons 8-14
2004 Punk'd Himself 1 episode
2005 Curb Your Enthusiasm Omar Jones 4 episodes
2008 The Black Poker Stars Invitational Himself
2009–2011 Lie to Me Ben Reynolds Recurring role
2011 Last Man Standing Jeremy Davis TV Movie
Torchwood Agent Rex Matheson 10 episodes
2012 Psych Drake Episode: Let's Doo-Wop It Again
White Collar Kyle Collins 2 episodes
Husbands Mark Episode: The Straightening
2014 House of Lies Dre Collins 7 episodes
A Day Late and a Dollar Short Lewis TV Movie
2015 Key & Peele Cousin Episode: Hollywood Sequel Doctor
2016 Roots Jerusalem Episode: Part 4
Secret City US Ambassador to Australia Moreton 5 episodes
2016–2017 Frequency Satch Reyna 13 episodes
2017 Match Game Himself 1 episode
2018 Chicago P.D. Joe Baker Episode: Captive
The Bobby Brown Story Tommy Brown 2 episodes
2019 Truth Be Told Markus Knox 8 episodes
2020-present Love, Victor Harold Brooks Recurring role

Music videos

Other activities

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.[8] 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 of Athlete's Foot athletic shoe-store franchises in California.[2]

In January 2011, Phifer launched Third Reel Films.[9] 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". Mekhi Phifer Verified Twitter. December 29, 2011. Retrieved June 30, 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 May 7, 2014.
  3. ^ Mekhi Phifer Biography (1975–) from
  4. ^ "'Lie to Me' recruits Mekhi Phifer". Zap2it. Retrieved May 6, 2009.
  5. ^ Hollywood Stars Drop in on Male Newlyweds in 'Husbands',, retrieved August 18, 2012
  6. ^ Saad, Nardine (May 7, 2014). "Report: Mekhi Phifer of 'ER,' 'Divergent' files for bankruptcy". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  7. ^ "Former 'ER' actor Mekhi Phifer marries Reshelet Barnes". United Press International. April 1, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  8. ^ The Vine Group, USA
  9. ^ Thirdreel,

External links

This page was last edited on 4 July 2021, at 01:50
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