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The young actor currently stars as " Dr. Gregory Pratt" on NBC's medical drama series "ER". Since his impressive acting debut as a drug dealer in Spike Lee’s film “Clockers,” “ER” newcomer Mekhi (pronounced “Me-KYE”) Phifer has enhanced his industry profile by putting new twists on classic or beloved roles with his performances in “O” as Othello, the TV movie “Carmen: A Hip-Hopera” -- and last season, as Gale Sayers in the remake of the TV movie “Brian’s Song.” In his new series regular role on the medical drama, Phifer portrays an arrogant intern whose over-confident tendency to do first -- and ask permission later -- further agitates the already chaotic ER. Born and raised in New York City, Phifer attended an open casting call there for director Lee’s “Clockers” as a narcotics dealer embroiled in a murder coverup. He followed that impact role with another in the comedy spoof feature “High School High” 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. On television, Phifer’s credits include the movies “The Tuskegee Airmen,” “Subway Stories” and “Brian’s Song” (as former Chicago Bear 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.” Likewise, he earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for another TV movie, “A Lesson Before Dying,” opposite Don Cheadle. Among Phifer’s other big-screen credits are “Soul Food,” “Hell’s Kitchen, NYC,” “Tears of a Clown,” and the thriller “An Uninvited Guest” -- as well as “O,” in which he starred as an updated Othello (also starring Julia Stiles and Josh Hartnett) who is the captain of a champion high-school basketball team. He most recently appeared in “The Impostor” (with Gary Sinise, Madeline Stowe and Vincent D’Onofrio of NBC’s “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”), and will be seen in the upcoming “Paid in Full” and director Curtis Hanson’s “8 Mile,” opposite Eminem, Brittany Murphy and Kim Basinger. Phifer also guest-starred in the series “Homicide: Life on the Street” and “New York Undercover.” In addition, he appeared in the music video, “The Boy Is Mine,” by Brandy. Phifer is also the youngest owner of the Athletes Foot, athletic shoe store franchise in California. He is the proprietor of six stores (two of the stores are up and running), and he resides in Los Angeles.
A versatile actor, Mekhi Phifer has shown incredible range playing a variety of characters from all walks of life. From Shakespearean adaptations to hip-hop culture films to medical dramas to horror movies, Mekhi does it all. Currently one of the featured players on ER, Mekhi's incredible talent is being refined on one of TV's finest shows.
Mekhi Phifer was born on December 24, 1974, in Harlem, New York, USA.
More fun stuff about Mekhi Phifer
Mekhi played the 'love interest' in En Vogue's "What's It Gonna Be?" video.
He played Lem Van Adams (Bird's Husband) in the movie Soul Food. Then his wife Malinda Williams, who was also in "Univted Guest" with him, played "Bird" in the series: "Soul Food".
He was in 50-cents video "Many Men"
Mekhi Phifer is mentioned by name in Eminem's smash hit "Lose Yourself", which was inspired by the movie they starred in together, 8 Mile.
His name is pronounced "Meck-high."
Mekhi has a twin brother.
Mekhi has one son with Malinda Williams.
Mekhi starred in the music video for "The Boy Is Mine" by Brandy and Monica.
For his first audition, Mekhi walked 40 blocks to get a snapshot at a Woolworths photo booth for the open-call audition. He beat out over 1,000 other young men for the lead role in Clockers.
Mekhi's mother was a school teacher and he says she was the reason he didn't get caught up in the "street nonsense" of Harlem.
He released a rap album, 'New York Related: The HF Project,' which he considered a "shout-out to 'Harlem's Finest,' the Halemites who are successful.
Mekhe Phifer named one of 12 Sexiest Men in Showbiz
As if the swoon-worthy body weren't enough, the deliciously devilish grin most definitely puts a lock on Mekhi Phifer's status as one of Hollywood's sexiest up-and-comers. Born and bred in Harlem, New York, Mekhi became an example of the classic overnight success story when he was handpicked at the age of 19 by director Spike Lee to star as a young New Jersey drug dealer in the urban drama Clockers. Mekhi continued his success in films like Soul Food and I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, and starred in the sultry Shakespearian takeoff O. He also recently graced the screen in the hip-hop sagas 8 Mile and Honey, and played a family guy turned flesh-eating zombie in Dawn of the Dead. In addition to appearing with hip-hop legend LL Cool J in the upcoming crime drama Slow Burn, Mekhi will continue to stop our hearts (and restart them!) playing Doctor Gregory Pratt each week in ER. At press time, Mekhi is still on the market. He's divorced from actress Malinda Williams and has one son, Omi.
Mekhi Phifer's Christmas Hospital Dash
8 Mile star MEKHI PHIFER's Christmas celebrations suffered an early setback this month (DEC03) - because his four-year-old son OMI got a pebble stuck in his ear.
The actor, who now stars in medical series ER, was supposed to watch his offspring in one of his first stage productions, but ended up spending hours in the hospital.
He says, "Last Friday we were gonna go to his Christmas Pageant and he wound up putting a pebble in his ear, so obviously no show. I was dressed and everything... no show for me. We took him to the hospital."
And Phifer's role in ER came in very handy when he needed to get his son seen to for the minor operation.
He adds, "One good thing about ER, is we called the doctor friend and he got us right in."
Mekhi Chooses Age Over Beauty
8 Mile star MEKHI PFIFER has given up on dating young girls because none of them know what they want from a man.
The actor, now an ER regular, admits he prefers to date older women because they've been with all kinds of men and know what they want from a romance, no matter how brief.
He says, "An older woman has dealt with the guy with the little d*ck, the broke dude, the one who couldn't make love...
"So she really appreciates the dude who has it all together - she wants to make the bread, serve the breakfast, take care of her man because she knows her man is taking care of her."
Mekhi Phifer is a flower fan
star MEKHI PHIFER has unveiled his favourite household item - flowers.
The 29-year-old actor admits that the lack of foliage in his home when he was growing up has led to him having a great appreciation for blooming additions to his house.
He says, "I love flowers. I grew up in Harlem, in the concrete jungle, so now my house is filled with greenery, plants and trees. I love nature."