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Mekhi Phifer

Last updated 05 March 2013


Mekhi Phifer
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Mekhi Thira Phifer

Born: Sun 29th December 1974 (age: 39)

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Mekhi Phifer is an American actor. He is best known for his multi-year role as Dr. Greg Pratt on NBC's long-running medical drama ER and his 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.

Phifer was born in Harlem, New York City.

In 1995, 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. 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 is perhaps best known for his role as Dr. Gregory Pratt on the medical drama ER, that he started in April 2002. Phifer left the show in September 2008, in the first episode of Season 15. His character was tragically killed off in 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 Award.

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 guest-starred in the series Homicide: Life on the Street and 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.

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.

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