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An Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award winner, S. EPATHA MERKERSON has won critical acclaim for her brilliant work in theatre, television and film.

Merkerson, currently in production on her 17th season of the perennial hit series Law and Order, received a 2006 NAACP Image Award and 2007, 2008 and 2009 NAACP Image Award Nomination for her portrayal of Lieutenant Anita Van Buren. The 20th season of the show is scheduled to premiere on September 25, 2009. In 2010, Merkerson is currently onscreen in Rodrigo Garcia's Mother and Child starring Naomi Watts and Samuel L. Jackson.

On stage, Merkerson was last seen on Broadway in "Come Back Little Sheba” at the Biltmore Theatre for which she received a Tony nomination, a Drama League nomination, and an Outer Critics Circle nomination. Michael Pressman directed the new production of William Inge's tender drama about a fragile marriage stepped in delusion and longing. Merkerson played Lola, a woman lost in her memories and caught in a stale, hapless 25-year marriage with Doc, a man who has his own struggles with the past. Lola opens their home to Marie, a fresh-faced young boarder and soon the precarious balance of the couple's relationship is shaken by Marie's youthful sexuality and vivaciousness. She starred in the LA production of this at the Kirk Douglas Theater in summer 2007.

Starring in the HBO film Lackawanna Blues as Rachel "Nanny” Crosby Ms. Merkerson also garnered a 2006 NAACP Image Award, a Gracie Allen Award and an IFP Spirit nomination. Other film credits include: The Rising Place, Radio (Cammie Award), Jersey Girl, Random Hearts, Terminator II: Judgment Day, Jacob's Ladder, Navy Seals and Loose Cannons and Black Snake Moan with Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci and Justin Timberlake. She was also seen in the independent film Slipstream written and directed by Anthony Hopkins. She starred opposite Anthony Hopkins, Fionnula Flanagan, Jeffrey Tambor and Camryn Manheim. The story is a noir comedy about an actor and would-be screenwriter who, at the very moment of his meeting with fate, comes to discover that life is random and fortune is sightless as he is thrown into a vortex where time, dreams and reality collide in an increasingly whirling slipstream. The film premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and opened in LA and New York on October 26th, 2007.

Ms. Merkerson has co-starred in numerous television movies including Girl, Positive (for which she is nominated for a 2008 NAACP Image Award), A Mother's Prayer with Linda Hamilton, An Unexpected Life and It's a Girl Thing with Stockard Channing, and A Place for Annie with Mary-Louise Parker and Sissy Spacek. In 1998, she reprised her role as Lt. Anita Van Buren for the NBC movie Exiled with Chris Noth.

Prior to Law & Order Merkerson was a series regular on PeeWee's Playhouse where she played "Reba The Mail Lady”, Dick Wolf's Mann and Machine and the Cosby spin-off Here and Now with Malcolm Jamal Warner. She also filmed pilots Moe's World, Elysian Fields and Equal Justice and made guest appearances on The Cosby Show, and the NBC comedy Frasier and can be seen in a 3-episode arc of The Closer.

On stage Merkerson has performed On and Off Broadway in productions including Suzan Lori-Parks' "F**king A” (Lucille Lortel nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress); August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Piano Lesson” (Tony, Drama Desk and Helen Hayes nominations for Best Actress); the Young Playwrights Festival's production of "I'm Not Stupid” (Obie Award); "The Old Settler” (Helen Hayes Award), and Cheryl West's' play "Birdie Blue” (Obie Award, Lucille Lortel nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress and Drama League Distinguished Performance Award).

A native of Detroit Michigan, Merkerson received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Wayne State University. She lives in New York City.

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