MEKHI PHIFER (Chaz) has captured the attention of critics and audiences alike with performances that cross all cinematic genres, from gritty urban dramas to heartwarming romantic comedies. He most recently starred opposite Eminem, Brittany Murphy and Kim Basinger in Curtis Hanson's highly acclaimed
8 Mile. He also starred in the feature Paid in Full and in the feature film
O, based on Shakespeare's Othello, where he starred opposite Julia Styles and Josh Hartnett.
In addition to his escalating film career, Phifer recently added to his growing list of television credits a starring role on the Emmy Award-winning series
ER. His other television credits include leading roles in MTV's highly-rated film
Carmen: A Hip Hopera, in which he did all his own rap work and starred opposed Beyonce Knowles. He appeared in the Emmy
Award winning HBO Original Movie A Lesson Before Dying, with Don Cheadle and Cicely Tyson, where his subtle performance as a man on death row won rave reviews and earned him an NAACP Image Award nomination. He tackled the challenging role of playing NFL Hall of Famer Gale Sayers in the ABC television special
Brian's Song, and appeared in the celebrated HBO Original Film The Tuskegee
Airmen. Phifer has also made appearances on the popular police dramas Homicide: Life on the Street
and New York Undercover.
Born and raised in New York, Mekhi Phifer's acting career began when he auditioned at an open casting call for Spike Lee's
Clockers and was selected for the leading role. Working alongside Harvey Keitel, John Turturro and Delroy Lindo, he garnered critical acclaim for his compelling performance as Strike, a young New Jersey drug dealer involved in a murder
cover up. Following his impressive film debut, he appeared in the comedy spoof High School
In the hit thriller I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, he co-starred with Jennifer Love Hewitt, Brandy and Freddie Prinze, Jr. He also starred in the successful family drama
Soul Food, opposite Vanessa Williams, Vivica A. Fox and Nia Long. Additional films include
Hell's Kitchen, NYC, Tears of a Clown, An Invited Guest (winner of the Audience Award at the 1999 Urbanworld Festival and the Grand Prize at the Acapulco Film Festival) and
In June of 2002, Phifer was honored by the American Black Film Festival, receiving the organization's "Rising Starâ€ť award.
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