Who is Mekhi Phifer?
Mekhi Phifer is an American actor, who is perhaps best known for starring in the recurring role of Dr. Gregory Pratt on the Golden Globe-winning medical drama television series “ER.” Moreover, he is recognized for his appearances in several popular films such as “8 Mile” (2002), “Honey” (2003) and “Dawn of the Dead” (2004).
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Mekhi (pronounced ‘Meck-high’) Phifer was born under the zodiac sign of Capricorn on the 29the December 1974, in New York, and is of American nationality and of African-American origin.
He was raised alongside his twin brother in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan by a single mother named Rhoda, who was a high school teacher.
Mekhi plunged into the acting world at the age of 20 when he was cast as drug dealer Strike in Spike Lee’s crime thriller, “Clockers.” For his debut performance, he was honored with a nomination for the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actor.
Following this success, later that year the young Phifer appeared in the Golden Globe nominated television war drama film “The Tuskegee Airmen”, after which he appeared in a few episodes of the television series “New York Undercover”. “. In 1996, he was cast in the comedy film “High School High”, after which he played the recurring character of Nathaniel Lee “Junior Bunk” Mahoney in the television crime series “Homicide: Life on the Street”.
These were followed by two big-screen appearances in 1997 comedies, “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 film “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer” – the second sequel to “I Know What You Did Last Summer Film Franchise.
In 1999, Mekhi landed his first starring role when he starred as Silk in the thriller film ‘Uninvited Guest’, while in 2000 he appeared alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Christian Bale in the action movie “Shaft”. In 2001, he starred alongside Beyoncé in the musical drama TV movie “Carmen: A Hip Hopera”, after which he played the lead role of Odin James in the thriller “O”.
These roles were followed by an appearance in the 2001 sci-fi mystery film “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 played the main character in the critically acclaimed action crime film “Paid in Full”. Phifer rose to 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 the single ‘Lose Yourself’ from ‘Eminem, which was one of the themes of the film. Songs.
I tell my children @MekhiPhifer won a #Oscar for this service. https://t.co/AU6vcjx9Y3
— just be happy (@Jermainelw) December 2, 2019
This major big screen appearance was followed by one of his most widely recognized screen appearances to date – the recurring role of Dr. Greg Pratt on the popular medical drama television series “ER”, in a total of 135 episodes across the show’s seven episodes. seasons until 2009.
In the meantime, he also starred as Chaz in the romantic drama film ‘Honey’, while in 2004 Mekhi appeared in Zac Snyder’s hit horror film ‘Dawn of the Dead’. Between 2009 and 2010, he played the role of Ben Reynolds in the television series “Lie to Me”, after which he appeared alongside Patrick Dempsey and Ashley Judd in the crime comedy film “Flypaper” in 2011.
After his recurring role as Agent Rex Matheson on the television series “Torchwood”, in 2014 Phifer starred as Dr. Collins in the Golden Globe-winning television series “House of Lies”, and also appeared in the film Hollywood Sci-Fi show “Divergent,” which grossed nearly $290 million worldwide. In 2015, he reprized his role as Max in its sequel, “The Divergent Series: Insurgent,” while in 2016 he appears in the latest 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 played the role of Satch Reyna in the TV series “Frequency”.
His latest on-screen acting engagements include the recurring role of Markus Knox on the hit TV series “Truth Be Told”, as well as the role of Harold Brooks on the TV series “Love, Victor”.
In 1999, Mekhi married fellow American actress Malinda Williams with whom he had a son named Omikaye before they separated in 2003. With Onanong Souratha, to whom he was briefly engaged, he has another son, named Mekhi Thira Phifer, Jr. Since March 2013, Phifer married Reshelet Barnes, who was recently appointed director of the Fox Cable News network’s creative services division.
Besides being an accomplished actor, Mekhi is a businessman and a philanthropist. He is one of the owners of the athletic apparel retail franchise “Athlete’s Foot”, which operates six stores in the state of California. Additionally, being heavily involved with the charity organization The Vine Group, he has donated over $100,000 in school supplies and scholarships to the city of Ibadan in Nigeria. To honor his selfless efforts, in 2005 the city opened the Mekhi Phifer Education Center.
Despite a promising career and a bountiful acting portfolio, things aren’t so bright when it comes to Mekhi’s wealth. In 2014, he filed for bankruptcy, saying his assets included property valued at just $67,000 with a total debt of $1.3 million. Moreover, Mekhi reported that his monthly income is around $7,500 while his expenses hover around $11,000. Speaking in the second half of 2020, authoritative sources estimated that Mekhi Phifer’s net worth has a negative balance of $1.3 million, including $1.2 million he owes in taxes.