Some people have more than one talent, and such is the case of Eriq La Salle, who is known not only for his portrayal of Peter Brenton in the well-known TV series “ER”, but also for being considered a spectacular director, producer and a writer. Where did he learn his acting skills? Does he have a wife?

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Early life and Education

Erik Ki La Salle was born on 23 July 1962, in Hartford, Connecticut USA, where he and his three siblings were raised by their mother, Ada Haynes, after his parents divorced. He attended Weaver High School, and after matriculating became a part of the interdisciplinary cultural institution in Hartford, called Artists Collective, Inc, in which he studied the art and culture of the African Diaspora.

Posted by Eriq La Salle on Thursday, January 5, 2012

In 1980 he joined the Drama Division of the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City, and remained a member of Group 13 for two years – he was supposed to remain for four years, but the instructors didn’t think La Salle could overcome his inner-city speech pattern, and so they asked him to leave.

Eriq then enrolled at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and in 1984 earned himself a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Graduate Acting Program. During this time he decided to make Eriq La Salle his professional name.


La Salle started as a theater actor in New York – his first notable role was in Joseph Papp’s version of “Henry V”, played at the Shakespeare in the Park festival. This led to him being cast in various off-Broadway and Broadway plays.

In 1985, he made his feature film debut when he appeared in the movies “Rappin’” and “Cut and Run”. Just a year later, he was cast as a guest in several TV series, such as “Spenser: For Hire”, “ABC Afterschool Specials”, and “One Life to Live”. He also portrayed Deputy Bernie Miles in the drama-thriller “Where Are the Children”.

Similar happened in 1987, as he made guest appearances in “Another World”, “Vietnam War Story”, “Mariah” and “Leg Work”, and appeared in the crime film “Five Corners”, opposite Jodie Foster and Todd Graff.

In 1988, he co-starred as Darryl Jenks in the film “Coming to America”, co-starring with Eddie Murphy. Before the start of the ‘90s, La Salle was also in the TV series’ “Knightwatch” and “Gideon Oliver”, as well as in TV films “When We Were Young” and “Magic Moments”.

In the early 1990s, he was cast in films such as “Jacob’s Ladder” and “Color of Night”, acting alongside Bruce Willis, Jane March and Ruben Blades, and appeared in several TV series such as “L.A. Law”, “Quantum Leap”, “Under Suspicion” and “Screenplay”. During this time, he also portrayed the recurring character Michael Stoven in the TV drama series “The Human Factor”, but which was canceled after the first season.

In 1994 he made his breakthrough, when he joined the main cast of the most famous medical TV series “ER”; his portrayal of Peter Benton brought him worldwide fame, appearing in more than 170 episodes and remaining in the show until it ended in 2009.

Eriq La Salle

He won several awards for his contribution, most notably the Magnolia Stage Award in the category of Best Supporting Actor in 1996, and (jointly) the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in years 1996-1999, and NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series in 1999, 2000 and 2002.

In 1996 he appeared with James Earl Jones and Don Cheadle in the biographical film “Rebound: The Legend of Earl ‘The Goat’ Manigault”, and in 1999 he starred in “Mind Prey”, a TV adaptation of John Sandford’s novel of the same name about a detective trying to solve a kidnapping case.

La Salle acted alongside Robin Williams in the drama film “One Hour Photo”, in which he portrayed Detective James Van Der Zee. That same year he directed “Crazy as Hell”, starring Michael Beach and Ronny Cox, and for his minor acting role in this movie, he won the Black Reel Award for Outstanding Independent Actor in 2003.

Also in 2003 he appeared in the crime TV series “The System”, in which he portrayed Andrew Evans, and that same year appeared in an episode of “The Twilight Zone”. Two years later in 2005, he starred in David Ogden’s thriller film “Inside Out”, and the following year in “Johnny Was”, portraying Julius, and co-starring with Vinnie Jones, Patrick Bergin and Laurence Kinlan.

In 2010, La Salle made brief appearances in two episodes of “24”, portraying the UN Secretary General. The following year, he was cast as Evan ‘E-Mo’ Morris in the TV series “A Gifted Man”, appearing in five episodes over a span of two years. He also portrayed Everton Thompson in the TV series “How to Make It in America”.

La Salle appeared in the TV series “Blackout” in 2012, in which he portrayed George Lumas. In 2015 he played the character of Hektor Martin in several episodes of the sci-fi series “Under the Dome”, and the following year guest-starred as Dr. Brainerd in the TV series “Angie Tribeca”. His final feature film appearance happened in 2017, when he portrayed Will Munson in “Logan”, alongside Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and Dafne Keen.

Other Career Endeavors

As well as being an actor, La Salle is also a director and a producer; he’s directed episodes of several TV series, including Showtime’s “Soul Food: The Series”, “The Twilight Zone”, “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” – for which he was nominated in the NAACP Image Awards for the Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series – and “CSI: NY”. He also directed an episode of the famous TV series “Lucifer”, called “Wingman”. He was the writer and the director of the short film “Psalms from the Underground” in 1996, but Mel Gibson later bought the rights.

La Salle is also a published writer – his first novel, “Laws of Depravity”, was published in 2012.

Personal Life

La Salle is the founder of the production company called “Humble Journey Films” in 1997.

His hobbies include playing billiards, table tennis and weightlifting.

La Salle likes to keep his personal life private – unlike his business endeavors. It isn’t known whether or not he’s dated anyone from the Hollywood scene. However, some rumors state that he was in a relationship with a woman named Angela Johnson, and that the two were even engaged, but broke up after several years. As of May 2020, it is supposed that he is single.

He is rather active on various social media platforms, including Twitter on which he has more than 40,000 followers.

Net Worth

Eriq La Salle makes a lot of money from his other career endeavors, but most of his fortune acting in TV series such as “ER” – his three-season salary for that work earned him an impressive $27 million! Because of all of this, as of May 2020 his net worth is estimated at around $25 million. He owned a mansion in Beverly Hills, California US, which was listed for sale in 2019 for a price of $7.9 million!

Physical characteristics

La Salle is of African-American descent. He is 6ft 2ins (1.87m) tall and weighs around 200lbs (90kgs) – he has an athletic build, and takes good care of his body. His hair is short and black, and his eyes are dark brown.

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