• Mekhi Phifer is an American actor most known for his role in “ER”
• He was born in New York City in 1974 and raised by a single mother
• Phifer has starred in several popular movies including “8 Mile” (2002) and “Dawn of the Dead” (2004)
• He is also an entrepreneur and philanthropist
• Mekhi Phifer has a negative net worth of $1.3 million

Known for movies

Short Info

Net Worth$8 million
Date Of BirthDecember 29, 1974
SpouseReshelet Barnes, Malinda Williams
FactOwns an "Athlete's Foot" store franchise, which sells athletic footwear in California. Owns six stores with two of them up and running.

Who is Mekhi Phifer?

Mekhi Phifer is an American actor, who is perhaps most widely known for starring in the recurring role of Dr. Gregory Pratt in the Golden Globe-winning TV medical drama series “ER”. Additionally, he is recognized for appearing in several popular movies such as “8 Mile” (2002), “Honey” (2003) and “Dawn of the Dead” (2004).

Early Life

Mekhi (pronounced as ‘Meck-high’) Phifer was born under the zodiac sign of Capricorn on the 29th December 1974, in New York City, and is of American nationality and African American ethnicity.

He was raised alongside his twin brother in Manhattan’s neighborhood of Harlem by a single mother named Rhoda, who was a high school teacher.

Acting Career

Mekhi dived into the world of acting at the age of 20 when he was cast for the role of a drug dealer Strike in Spike Lee’s critically praised crime thriller movie “Clockers”. For his debut performance, he was honored with a nomination for the Chicago Film Critics Association Award’s Most Promising Actor accolade.

Following this success, later that year young Phifer appeared in the Golden Globe-nominated TV war drama movie “The Tuskegee Airmen” after which he appeared in a couple of episodes of the TV series “New York Undercover”. In 1996 he was cast in the comedy film “High School High”, after which he portrayed the recurring character of Nathaniel Lee ‘Junior Bunk’ Mahoney in the TV crime series “Homicide: Life on the Street”.

These were followed by two big screen appearances in 1997 comedy movies, “Hav Plenty” and “Soul Food”.

After a brief appearance in the 1998 film “Hell’s Kitchen”, Mekhi appeared alongside Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jennifer Love Hewitt in the slasher horror movie “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer” – the second sequel in the “I Know What You Did Last Summer” film franchise.

In 1999, Mekhi landed his first main role when he starred as Silk in the thriller movie “Uninvited Guest”, while in 2000 he appeared alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Christian Bale in the action movie “Shaft”. In 2001, he starred opposite Beyoncé in the TV musical drama movie “Carmen: A Hip Hopera” after which he starred in the leading role of Odin James in the thriller movie “O”.

These roles were followed by an appearance in the 2001 Sci-Fi mystery movie “Impostor” based on the eponymous short novel by Philip K. Dick. In 2002 he starred in the comedy film “The Other Brother”, after which he portrayed the main character in the critically acclaimed action crime movie “Paid in Full”. Phifer came into prominence later in 2002, when he starred as David ‘Future’ Porter alongside Eminem in the Oscar-winning film “8 Mile” – he is also mentioned in Eminem’s hit single “Lose Yourself”, which was one of the movie’s theme songs.

This major big screen appearance was followed by one of his most widely recognized on-screen appearances so far – the recurring role of Dr. Greg Pratt in the popular TV medical drama series “ER”, in  a total of 135 episodes through the show’s seven seasons ’til 2009.

In the meantime he also starred as Chaz in the romantic drama movie “Honey”, while in 2004 Mekhi appeared in Zac Snyder’s horror blockbuster film “Dawn of the Dead”. Between 2009 and 2010 he guest starred as Ben Reynolds in the TV series “Lie to Me”, after which he appeared opposite Patrick Dempsey and Ashley Judd in the crime comedy film “Flypaper” in 2011.

After his recurring role of the Agent Rex Matheson in the TV series “Torchwood”, in 2014 Phifer starred as Dre Collins in the Golden Globe-winning TV series “House of Lies”, and also appeared in the Hollywood Sci-Fi spectacle movie “Divergent”, which grossed close to $290 million worldwide. In 2015 he reprised his role of Max in its sequel entitled “The Divergent Series: Insurgent”, while in 2016 he appeared in the final installment of the “Divergent” franchise named “Allegiant”.

In 2016 Mekhi was cast in the first season of the TV series “Secret City”, after which he occasionally portrayed the role of Satch Reyna in the TV series “Frequency”.

Mekhi Phifer

His latest on-screen acting engagements include the recurring role of Markus Knox in the TV crime thriller series “Truth Be Told”, as well as the role of Harold Brooks in the TV comedy series “Love, Victor”.

Personal Life

In 1999, Mekhi married a colleague, American actress Malinda Williams with whom he welcomed a son named Omikaye before their split in 2003. With Onanong Souratha, to whom he was briefly engaged, he has another son, named Mekhi Thira Phifer, Jr. Since March 2013, Phifer has been married to Reshelet Barnes, recently appointed manager of Fox Cable News network’s creative services division.

Apart from being an accomplished actor, Mekhi is a businessman and a philanthropist. He is one of the owners of the sport apparel retail franchise ‘Athlete’s Foot’, running six stores through the state of California. Additionally, being heavily engaged within The Vine Group charity organization, he’s donated over $100,000 in school supplies and scholarships to the city of Ibadan in Nigeria. To honor his unselfish efforts, in 2005 the city opened the Mekhi Phifer Education Center.

Net Worth

Despite having a promising career and an abundant acting portfolio, when it comes to Mekhi’s wealth the situation is not that bright. In 2014 he filed for bankruptcy, claiming that his assets include property valued at only $67,000 with total debt of $1.3 million. Additionally, Mekhi listed that his monthly income figures around $7,500, while his expenses revolve around $11,000. Speaking as of second half of 2020, authoritative sources have estimated that Mekhi Phifer’s net worth has a negative balance of $1.3 million of which $1.2 million he owes in taxes.

General Info

Full NameMekhi Phifer
Net Worth$8 million
Date Of BirthDecember 29, 1974
Height1.76 m
ProfessionFilm producer, Film director, Rapper, Actor, Businessperson


SpouseReshelet Barnes, Malinda Williams
ChildrenOmikaye Phifer, Mekhi Thira Phifer Jr
ParentsRhoda Phifer


AwardsNAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, TV Land Icon Award
NominationsNAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special, Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Liplock, Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Chemistry, Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actor - Drama/Action Adventure, Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actor: Drama
MoviesDivergent, 8 Mile, Paid in Full, Clockers, Dawn of the Dead, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, Allegiant, Soul Food, This Christmas, High School High, O, Slow Burn, Honey, The Suspect, Uninvited Guest, Flypaper, Shaft, Puff, Puff, Pass, Carmen: A Hip Hopera, The Tuskegee Airmen, Pandemic, A Les...
TV ShowsTorchwood, Lie to Me, ER, Frequency, Making the Video

Social profile links


1I 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.
2Actors 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.
3When 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.
4With my first son I cut his umbilical cord and everything, so I'm a hands-on father, to say the least.
5When you're working and making money, that's all good, but there has to be something that provides a substance, I think.
6There's no question that I'm African-American. OK? I'm a black man. We're not going to escape that.
7Once or twice a week, I try to do some kind of boxing. I'm hitting the bags and jumping rope - all that stuff.
8It's always a pleasure when you get to work with people that you actually really like.
9I've done 21 films in eight years, and I've said 'No' more times than I've done films.
10Rap is definitely a youthful expression.
11I love working with Sally Field, and Steve Buscemi is one of the most giving, talented actors I've ever worked with.
12I tend to play more true-to-life characters in real situations.
13I'm a soccer dad at heart. I want five kids, and I want to get married. I want to coach Little League.
14I'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.
15I've dated interracially a lot. I grew up in Harlem, so I've dated Latins, Dominican, Guyanese, Cuban, black, white.
16Eating right has made the biggest difference in my body.
17I always try to bring a certain masculine presence to what I do. That is part of the dynamic.
18I 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.
19I 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.
20I 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.'


1Son, Mekhi Thira Phifer, Jr., born 30 October 2007. Mother is fiancée Onanong Souratha.
2Appeared in Vibe magazine for the article "Can't A Brother Get No Love". [August 1999]
3Engaged to director assistant Onanong Souratha on May 9, 2007.
4Was originally a rapper signed to Warner Brothers records.
5Is 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.
6Good friends with Eminem.
7Enjoys going to the rifle ranges around Los Angeles and target shooting to relieve stress and have fun.
8Good friends with ER (1994) costar, Goran Visnjic.
9Along 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.
10Owns an "Athlete's Foot" store franchise, which sells athletic footwear in California. Owns six stores with two of them up and running.
11Has been "Punk'd" by Ashton Kutcher.
12Son named Omikaye with actress Malinda Williams.
13First name is pronounced "Meck-high".
14Was 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.




Karel: Life in Segments2015TV Series
A Talent for Trouble2015Mekhi Phifer
The Divergent Series: Insurgent - Shatter Reality2015Video Game shortMax
A Day Late and a Dollar Short2014TV MovieLewis
House of Lies2014TV SeriesDre Collins
The Suspect2013The Suspect
The Love Section2013James Johnson
Husbands2012TV SeriesMark
White Collar2012TV SeriesKyle Collins
Psych2012TV SeriesDrake
Torchwood2011TV SeriesRex Matheson
Last Man Standing2011TV MovieJeremy Davis
Lie to Me2009-2010TV SeriesAgent Ben Reynolds
A Day in the Life2009/IIKing Khi
ER2002-2008TV SeriesGregory Pratt
Nora's Hair Salon II2008Dr. Terry
This Christmas2007Gerald
Puff, Puff, Pass2006Big Daddy
Curb Your Enthusiasm2005TV SeriesOmar Jones
Slow Burn2005Isaac Duperde
ER: The Game2005Video GameDr. Gregory Pratt (voice)
Dawn of the Dead2004Andre
8 Mile2002David 'Future' Porter
Paid in Full2002Mitch
The Other Brother2002Martin
Head Games2001John Ambrose, Jr. 'John John'
Brian's Song2001TV MovieGale Sayers
O2001Odin James
Carmen: A Hip Hopera2001TV MovieHill
Shaft2000Trey Howard
Uninvited Guest1999Silk
A Lesson Before Dying1999TV MovieJefferson
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer1998Tyrell
Hell's Kitchen1998Johnny
Homicide: Life on the Street1996-1998TV SeriesNathaniel Lee 'Junior Bunk' Mahoney
Hav Plenty1997Harold
Soul Food1997Lem
SUBWAYStories: Tales from the Underground1997TV MovieMan in Hallway (segment "Fern's Heart of Darkness")
High School High1996Griff McReynolds
New York Undercover1995-1996TV SeriesDion Broat / Sekou
Clockers1995Ronald 'Strike' Dunham
The Tuskegee Airmen1995TV MovieLewis Johns
Models Inc.1995TV SeriesModel #2
Chocolate City: Vegas2016post-productionBest Valentine
Frequency2016TV SeriesSatch Rayna
Secret City2016TV SeriesAmbassador Moreton
Roots2016TV Mini-SeriesJerusalem
Four Kings2016TV SeriesRichie Rich
Key and Peele2015TV SeriesCousin


The Suspect2013executive producer
Business as Usual: The Exploitation of Hip Hop2011Documentary executive producer
Nora's Hair Salon II2008producer
This Christmas2007executive producer
Puff, Puff, Pass2006producer


Psych2012TV Series performer - 1 episode
Hell's Kitchen1998lyrics: "New Yorkers Lifestyle", "Edge of Life", "New York Related", "What's Up B" / performer: "New Yorkers Lifestyle", "Edge of Life", "New York Related", "What's Up B"


Puff, Puff, Pass2006


Showrunners: The Art of Running a TV Show2014Documentary thanks


Last Call with Carson Daly2005-2016TV SeriesHimself
Access Hollywood Live2016TV SeriesHimself
Hollywood Today Live2016TV SeriesHimself
The Real2016TV SeriesHimself
Home & Family2016TV SeriesHimself
Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race2015TV MovieHimself
Made in Hollywood2015TV SeriesHimself
The Wendy Williams Show2011-2015TV SeriesHimself / Himself - Guest
The Chew2015TV SeriesHimself
Bringing 'Divergent' to Life2014Video documentary
Divergent: Faction Before Blood2014Video documentary shortHimself
Hollywood Game Night2014TV SeriesHimself - Celebrity Guest
Chelsea Lately2014TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The View2005-2014TV SeriesHimself
Janela Indiscreta2014TV SeriesHimself
Larry King Now2014TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Sidewalks Entertainment2014TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The Queen Latifah Show2014TV SeriesHimself
The Arsenio Hall Show2014TV SeriesHimself - Guest
GeekRockTV2013TV SeriesHimself - Special Guest
Talk Stoop with Cat Greenleaf2012TV SeriesHimself
1st Look2011TV SeriesHimself - Interviewee
The Talk2011TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Business as Usual: The Exploitation of Hip Hop2011DocumentaryDocumentary Host
41st NAACP Image Awards2010TV SpecialHimself
Tavis Smiley2004-2009TV SeriesHimself
The 7th Annual TV Land Awards2009TV SpecialHimself
Previously On: E.R.2009TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Bonnie Hunt Show2008TV SeriesHimself
Stand Up to Cancer2008TV MovieHimself
Black Poker Stars Invitational2008TV SeriesPlayer / Himself - Guest
Up Close with Carrie Keagan2007TV SeriesHimself
2007 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards2007TV SpecialHimself
In the Cutz2006TV Series
Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show2003-2006TV SeriesHimself
Jimmy Kimmel Live!2003-2005TV SeriesHimself
36th NAACP Image Awards2005TV SpecialHimself
World Poker Tour2005TV SeriesHimself
Save Our History2005TV Series documentaryHimself - Host
Late Night with Conan O'Brien2003-2005TV SeriesHimself
The MC: Why We Do It2005Video documentaryNarrator
The 62nd Annual Golden Globe Awards2005TV Special documentaryHimself - Co-Presenter: Best Actress in a Television Series [Musical or Comedy]
Inside Dish with Rachael Ray2004TV Series documentaryHimself
The 2nd Annual Vibe Awards2004TV SpecialHimself
Celebrity Poker Showdown2004TV SeriesHimself
The 2004 BET Source Hip Hop Music Awards2004TV SpecialHimself
The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn2004TV SeriesHimself
Making the Video2004TV Series documentaryHimself
G-Phoria 20042004TV Movie documentaryHimself - Presenter
100 Proof2004TV SeriesHimself
4th Annual BET Awards2004TV SpecialHimself
Punk'd2004TV SeriesHimself
With All Deliberate Speed2004DocumentaryHimself
Miss USA2004TV SpecialHimself - Celebrity Judge
The Daily Show2004TV SeriesHimself
On-Air with Ryan Seacrest2004TV SeriesHimself
The 2004 IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards2004TV Movie documentaryHimself - Presenter: Someone to Watch Award
Jessica's Crush2004TV SeriesHimself
Battle Rhyme for Reel Time2003Video documentaryHimself (uncredited)
Vibe Awards2003TV SpecialHimself
Scarface: Origins of a Hip Hop Classic2003Video documentary shortHimself
The Sharon Osbourne Show2003TV SeriesHimself
Tinseltown TV2003TV SeriesHimself
2003 Much Music Video Music Awards2003TV SpecialHimself
Miss USA2003TV SpecialHimself - Celebrity Judge
The Making of '8 Mile'2003TV Short documentaryHimself
34th NAACP Image Awards2003TV SpecialHimself
The 30th Annual American Music Awards2003TV SpecialHimself - Presenter
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno2002TV SeriesHimself
MADtv2002TV SeriesHimself
NBC 75th Anniversary Special2002TV SpecialHimself
Celebrity Profile1998TV Series documentaryHimself
Girl 61996Himself (cameo) (uncredited)
Lauren Hutton and...1995TV SeriesHimself

Archive Footage

ER2009TV SeriesGregory Pratt
Attack of the Living Dead2004Video shortAndre (uncredited)
Homicide: Life on the Street1998TV SeriesNathaniel Lee 'Junior Bunk' Mahoney


Won Awards

2009Icon AwardTV Land AwardsER (1994)
2005Image AwardImage AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama SeriesER (1994)
2004Image AwardImage AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama SeriesER (1994)
2002Rising Star AwardAmerican Black Film Festival
2000Black ReelBlack Reel AwardsNetwork/Cable - Best Supporting ActorA Lesson Before Dying (1999)

Nominated Awards

2015Black ReelBlack Reel AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actor, TV Movie or Mini-SeriesA Day Late and a Dollar Short (2014)
2015Image AwardImage AwardsOutstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic SpecialA Day Late and a Dollar Short (2014)
2013Best Performance by an ActorAmerican Black Film FestivalThe Suspect (2013)
2010Image AwardImage AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama SeriesLie to Me (2009)
2008Image AwardImage AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama SeriesER (1994)
2006Image AwardImage AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama SeriesER (1994)
2004Teen Choice AwardTeen Choice AwardsChoice Movie Actor - Drama/Action AdventureHoney (2003)
2004Teen Choice AwardTeen Choice AwardsChoice TV Actor - Drama/Action AdventureER (1994)
2004Teen Choice AwardTeen Choice AwardsChoice Movie LiplockHoney (2003)
2004Teen Choice AwardTeen Choice AwardsChoice Movie ChemistryHoney (2003)
2003Image AwardImage AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama SeriesER (1994)
2002Black ReelBlack Reel AwardsNetwork/Cable - Best Supporting ActorCarmen: A Hip Hopera (2001)
2000Image AwardImage AwardsOutstanding Actor in a Television Movie/Miniseries/Dramatic SpecialA Lesson Before Dying (1999)
1996CFCA AwardChicago Film Critics Association AwardsMost Promising ActorClockers (1995)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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