Mike Colter

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Mike Colter
Mike Colter at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con
Mike Colter

(1976-08-26) August 26, 1976 (age 47)
EducationBenedict College
University of South Carolina, Columbia (BA)
Rutgers University, New Brunswick (MFA)
Years active2002–present
Iva Colter
(m. 2002)
RelativesViola Davis (second cousin)

Mike Colter (born August 26, 1976)[1] is an American actor best known for his role as Luke Cage in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, appearing in the streaming television series Luke Cage (2016–2018), The Defenders (2017), and Jessica Jones (2015; 2019). He has also appeared as Lemond Bishop in the television series The Good Wife (2010–2015) and The Good Fight (2018–2019), Malcolm Ward in Ringer (2011–2012), Jameson Locke in the Halo franchise (2014–2015), Agent J's father in Men in Black 3, and David Acosta, a former journalist studying to be a Catholic priest in the CBS/Paramount+ series Evil (2019–present).

Early life[edit]

He is a graduate of Calhoun County High School. In his senior high school yearbook, his senior superlative as voted by the class was "most ambitious."[2] Colter spent a year at Benedict College before transferring to the University of South Carolina, receiving a bachelor's degree in theater in 1999. He obtained an MFA degree in acting from the Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts.[3][4]


Colter's first role was in the film Million Dollar Baby as boxer Big Willie Little. He also guest starred on Law & Order: Trial By Jury, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, The Good Wife, ER, and The Parkers as well as several TV movies. He starred in the series Ringer.[5]

In 2012, he was featured in the final act of the film Men in Black 3, playing agent J's father in the year 1969.

In 2014, Colter began portraying the role of Agent Jameson Locke in the Halo franchise.[6] Colter starred in the series Halo: Nightfall and provided the motion capture for Agent Locke in Halo 5: Guardians, and the voice acting is performed by Ike Amadi. He also co-starred as Luke Cage in Jessica Jones on Netflix. The first season was released online on November 20, 2015.[7] This was followed by the character's own series, Luke Cage, and the first season was released on September 30, 2016. The second season release followed on June 22, 2018.[8] In between the two seasons, Colter also played Luke in The Defenders. He also starred in the 2018 alien invasion movie Extinction.[9]

Colter was announced as the male lead in the CBS drama pilot, Evil as David Acosta, a Catholic seminarian who assesses unexplained phenomena for supernatural or scientific explanations.[10]

In 2020, Colter starred in the Netflix anthology series Social Distance.[11]

In 2023, Colter and Gerard Butler starred in the movie Plane by Lionsgate Play.[12][13]

Personal life[edit]

Colter met his future wife, Iva, at Rutgers University in New Jersey, where they were both graduate students. The couple married in 2002.[14][15][16] They have two daughters.[17] Colter is a second cousin of actress Viola Davis.[18][19] He resides in Los Angeles.

In 2019, Colter played for the "home" roster during the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at the Bojangles' Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina. The roster was made up of celebrities with Carolina roots.[20]



Year Title Role Notes
2004 Million Dollar Baby Big Willie Little
2005 Brooklyn Lobster Jamal
Silver Bells Bill TV movie
2007 And Then Came Love Yuppie Paul
2009 Taking Chance Master Gunnery Sgt. Demetry TV movie
Solving Charlie Jack Dash TV movie
2010 Salt CIA Tactical Leader
2012 Men In Black 3 Col. James Darrell Edwards II
Zero Dark Thirty DEVGRU Operative Mike
2013 The Surgeon General Dr. McCallan TV movie
2017 Girls Trip Stewart Pierce
2018 Extinction David
Skin Daryle Lamont Jenkins
2019 Before You Know It Charles
Breakthrough Tommy Shine
Black and Blue Darius Tureau
2020 Fatale Rafe Grimes
2021 South of Heaven Whit Price
2022 I'm Charlie Walker Charlie Walker
Carter Smith
2023 Plane Louis Gaspare HBO MAX
Murder City Neil


Year Title Role Notes
2002 ER Watts Episode: "Hindsight"
The Parkers Lamar Episode: "Lights, Camera, Action"
2005 Law & Order: Trial by Jury Officer Billy Tolbert Episode: "Blue Wall"
2007 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Dave Oldren Episode: "Albatross"
2009 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Joseph Serumaga Episode: "Hell"
2010 Royal Pains Officer Tanner Episode: "Lovesick"
2010–15 The Good Wife Lemond Bishop Recurring Cast: Season 1-2 & 4-6, Guest: Season 3
2011 Blue Bloods Cliff Reacher Episode: "The Blue Templar"
2011–12 Ringer Malcolm Ward Main Cast
2013 Criminal Minds Colin Bramwell Episode: "Final Shot"
2013–14 American Horror Story: Coven David Recurring Cast
2013–15 The Following Nick Donovan Recurring Cast: Season 1 & 3
2014 Halo: Nightfall Agent Jameson Locke Main Cast
2015 Agent X Miles Lathem Main Cast
2015–19 Jessica Jones Luke Cage Main Cast: Season 1, Guest: Season 3
2016 Comedy Bang! Bang! Himself Episode: "Mike Colter Wears a Pink Button Up and Black Boots"
2016–18 Luke Cage Luke Cage Main Cast
2017 Hollywood Game Night Himself/Celebrity Player Episode: "Playing Hardwick to Get"
Breakthrough Himself/Narrator (voice) Episode: "Addiction: A Psychedelic Cure?"
The Defenders Luke Cage Main Cast
2018 Comic Book Men Himself Episode: "Power Man vs. Counter Man"
American Dad! Guerrilla Soldier (voice) Episode: "(You Gotta) Strike for Your Right"
2018–19 The Good Fight Lemond Bishop Episode: "Day 471" & "The One with the Celebrity Divorce"
2019 Drop the Mic Himself Episode: "Mike Colter vs. Ne-Yo and Christina Milian vs. Ashlee Simpson"
Hollywood Game Night Himself/Celebrity Player Episode: "Kiss Me in Lamorne-ing"
Seis Manos Brister (voice) Main Cast
2019– Evil David Acosta Main Cast
2020 Tiny Creatures Narrator (voice) Main Cast
Monsterland Brian Cooke Episode: "Newark, New Jersey"
Social Distance Ike Episode: "Delete All Future Events"
2021 Match Game Himself/Celebrity Panelist Episode: "Episode #6.2"
City Confidential Himself/Narrator (voice) Main Narrator: Season 12

Video Games[edit]

Year Title Voice role Notes
2014 Halo: The Master Chief Collection Spartan Jameson Locke
2015 Halo 5: Guardians Spartan Jameson Locke Also likeness
Motion-capture only

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Category Result
2017 Luke Cage Black Reel Awards Black Reel Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
MTV Movie & TV Awards MTV Movie Award for Best Hero Nominated
NAACP Image Awards NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Saturn Awards Saturn Award for Best Actor on Television Nominated
2018 The Defenders NAACP Image Awards NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2020 Evil Critics' Choice Television Awards Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2021 Critics' Choice Super Awards Critics' Choice Super Award for Best Actor in a Horror Series Nominated
Saturn Awards Saturn Award for Best Actor on Television Nominated


  1. ^ "Famous birthdays list for August 26, 2023 includes celebrities Chris Pine, Macaulay Culkin". Cleveland.com. Retrieved December 14, 2023.
  2. ^ "7 Fast Facts About Mike Colter Marvel's Luke Cage". The Geek Twins. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  3. ^ Gleaton, Dionne (July 22, 2012). "Following a dream: St. Matthews native navigating acting world". The Times and Democrat. Orangeburg, South Carolina.
  4. ^ Myers, Marc (June 16, 2020). "To Act or Not to Act? For Mike Colter, That Was Never a Question". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved March 7, 2021.
  5. ^ "Mike Colter | TV Guide". TVGuide.com. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
  6. ^ Opam, Kwame (November 10, 2015). "Meet the new face of 'Halo'". The Verge. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  7. ^ Truitt, Brian. "'Jessica Jones' star Mike Colter a powerhouse as Luke Cage". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  8. ^ Stedman, Alex (December 4, 2016). "'Luke Cage' Renewed for Season 2 on Netflix". Variety. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  9. ^ Caron, Nathalie (April 21, 2017). "Luke Cage's Mike Colter joins alien invasion movie Extinction". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved April 8, 2021.
  10. ^ Baysinger, Tim (February 19, 2019). "Luke Cage' Star Mike Colter Cast as Lead on CBS Drama Pilot 'Evil'". www.thewrap.com. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  11. ^ Warner, Sam (August 27, 2020). "Luke Cage's Mike Colter returns to Netflix in quarantine-shot series Social Distance". Digital Spy. Retrieved March 7, 2021.
  12. ^ "Gerard Butler and Mike Colter talk new 'Plane' movie". MSN. Retrieved April 19, 2023.
  13. ^ "Mike Colter on building trust with Gerard Butler in their film Plane". The A.V. Club. January 13, 2023. Retrieved April 19, 2023.
  14. ^ "Mike Colter". IMDb.
  15. ^ "Fun Facts About 'Evil' Star Mike Colter's Wife, Iva Colter". YourTango. October 1, 2020. Retrieved March 7, 2021.
  16. ^ Sihlangu, Junie (December 26, 2020). "Mike Colter's Wife Iva Works at Netflix — Glimpse into the Actor's Interracial Marriage". news.amomama.com. Retrieved March 7, 2021.
  17. ^ "Mike Colter Welcomes Baby as Luke Cage Is Canceled: 'As One Door Closes, Another Has Opened'". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved March 7, 2021.
  18. ^ Sharma, Nemisha (December 6, 2015). "'Luke Cage': 5 Cool Things You Didn't Know About Marvel/Netflix Star Mike Colter". Design & Trend. Archived from the original on July 27, 2016. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  19. ^ Mike Colter; Luke Cage (September 30, 2016). "Mike Colter Interview With The Breakfast Club (9-30-16)". The Breakfast Club (Radio program). Interviewed by DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God. New York City. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  20. ^ release, Official. "ESPN and NBA announce celebrity rosters and coaches for 2019 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game presented by Ruffles exclusively on ESPN". NBA.com. Retrieved February 11, 2019.

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