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Epps in September 2008
Omar Hashim Epps
July 20, 1973
Omar Hashim Epps (born July 20, 1973) is an American actor. Epps's film roles include Juice, Higher Learning, The Wood, In Too Deep, and Love & Basketball. His television work includes the role of Dr. Dennis Gant on the medical drama series ER, J. Martin Bellamy in Resurrection, Dr. Eric Foreman on the Fox medical drama series House from 2004 to 2012, and Isaac Johnson in the TV series Shooter from 2016 to 2018.
Omar Epps was born in Brooklyn. His parents divorced during his childhood and he was raised by his mother, Bonnie Maria Epps, an elementary school principal. He lived in several neighborhoods while growing up (Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, East New York, Brooklyn and East Flatbush, Brooklyn). Before he started acting, he belonged to a rap group called Wolfpack which he formed with his cousin in 1991. He began writing poetry, short stories and songs at the age of ten and attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.
Early in his career, Epps was most often cast in the roles of troubled teens and/or athletes. He made his feature film debut with rapper Tupac Shakur as the star of cinematographer Ernest Dickerson's directorial film debut Juice. Epps followed up his performance in Juice as a running back in the college football drama The Program alongside James Caan. Epps starred in the film Deadly Voyage, and won the best actor award at the Monte Carlo Television Festival for portraying Kingsley Ofusu in this true story about African stowaways. The following year, he switched to baseball as co-star of Major League II, taking over the role of Willie Mays Hayes from originator Wesley Snipes. His next athletic endeavor was playing a track and field star in John Singleton's Higher Learning, a look at the politics and racial tensions of college life.
Epps landed a role on the hit television drama ER for several episodes portraying Dr. Dennis Gant, a troubled surgical intern. After his television work on ER, Epps returned to the big screen in 1997 with a brief turn as a giddy moviegoer on a date with a woman played by Jada Pinkett, who ends up an early victim of a psychopathic slasher in the blockbuster sequel Scream 2. Also in 1997 Epps was the star of the fact-based HBO movie First Time Felon. He played a small-time criminal who goes through Chicago's boot camp reform system and undertakes a heroic flood rescue, only to then be faced with the adjustment of re-entering society with the mark of ex-con. In 1999 Epps was cast as Linc in The Mod Squad. While The Mod Squad proved a critical and box-office bust, Epps's later 1999 effort The Wood offered him a serious and multi-dimensional role. Following a group of middle-class African Americans from youth to adulthood, The Wood, the debut effort from director-screenwriter Rick Famuyiwa, co-starred Richard T. Jones and Taye Diggs. Also in 1999, Epps was featured alongside Stanley Tucci and LL Cool J, playing an undercover detective who finds himself caught up in the illegal goings-on he is investigating in In Too Deep. 1999 also saw him lens the 1950s set murder mystery When Willows Touch, with James Earl Jones and Jada Pinkett Smith.
In 2000, Epps starred in Love & Basketball, featuring Alfre Woodard and Sanaa Lathan. He portrayed Quincy, the NBA hopeful who has a stormy relationship with an equally adept female basketball star Monica, played by Lathan. Epps also had supporting roles in a series of films, including Dracula 2000, Big Trouble, and the telepic Conviction. He also had a leading role as a gangster in Brother, a movie by Japanese actor/director Takeshi Kitano.
In 2004, Epps landed the role of drug-dealer-turned-prizefighter Luther Shaw, who falls under the tutelage of boxing promoter Jackie Kallen (Meg Ryan) in the biopic Against the Ropes. Epps was a character in the video game Def Jam Fight for NY in 2004.
Also in 2004, Epps returned to television medical drama with his role as Dr. Eric Foreman on the Fox television series House. The role earned him a NAACP Image Award in 2007, 2008 and 2013 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. In 2014, Epps took on the role of agent J. Martin Bellamy in the ABC television series, Resurrection. The series focuses on a number of individuals who return from the dead, and change the lives of their families and friends in Arcadia, Missouri.
In 1996 Epps began dating Keisha Spivey from the R&B group Total. The couple married in 2005. They have two children, daughter K'mari Mae and son Amir. He also has a daughter, Aiyanna, from a previous relationship. He is fluent in Spanish and French.
Epps and actor/comedian Marlon Wayans are longtime friends and high school classmates at LaGuardia High, both graduating in 1990. The 1997−1999 theme song used for the sitcom The Wayans Brothers was co-produced by Epps, with Marlon and Shawn Wayans.
Epps authored an autobiographical book titled From Fatherless to Fatherhood that was released by Lulu Publishing in June 2018.
Epps serves on the Cultural Council of RepresentUs, a nonprofit organization that focuses on passing anti-corruption laws in the United States. In June 2020, he narrated an educational video for the organization about America's criminal justice system.
|1988||The Green Flash||Charlie||Short film|
|1993||The Program||Darnell Jefferson|
|1994||Major League II||Willie Mays Hayes|
|1995||Higher Learning||Malik Williams|
|1996||Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood||Malik||Cameo|
|1997||Scream 2||Phil Stevens|
|1997||First Time Felon||Greg Yance|
|1998||Blossoms and Veils||Thee|
|1999||Breakfast of Champions||Wayne Hoobler|
|1999||The Mod Squad||Linc|
|1999||In Too Deep||Jeff Cole / J Reid|
|2000||Love & Basketball||Quincy McCall||Nominated – Black Reel Award for Best Theatrical Actor|
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Male Performance
Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Film Actor
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Film Chemistry with Sanaa Lathan
|2002||Big Trouble||FBI Agent Alan Seitz|
|2004||Against the Ropes||Luther Shaw|
|2009||A Day in the Life||O|
|2019||Trick||Det. Mike Denver|
|2020||Fatal Affair||David Hammond|
- Omar Epps Presents... The Get Back (2004)
- "Omar Epps". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
- "The Big M: Mike in the House". Playboy. Playboy. 56 (1): 19. January 2009.
I grew up all over Brooklyn – Bed Stuy, East New York, Flatbush...
- "Omar Epps reveals how he and Tupac ad-libbed their way through 'Juice' — and the rap hit that was born on set". yahoo. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
- "The cruellest voyage". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
- "Higher Learning: in praise of John Singleton's forgotten masterwork". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
- "10 episodes that will remind you why ER was the top drama of the '90s". avclub. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
- "Why 'Scream 2' Is Still One of the Best Horror Sequels of All Time". thrillist.com. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
- Biography.com Editors (May 21, 2014). "Omar Epps Biography". Biography.com. Retrieved 2016-12-26.
- "'Love & Basketball': An oral history of the film that changed the game". espn. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
- "Robert Sean Leonard, Omar Epps Set To Return To 'House'; Series' Renewal Imminent". Deadline. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
- "How many awards has Omar Epps won?". bing. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
- "Omar Epps says "Resurrection" finale will make you rethink entire season". cbs news. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
- N'Duka, Amanda (October 2, 2019). "Nia Long To Produce & Star Alongside Omar Epps And Stephen Bishop In Netflix Film 'Fatal Affair'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 3, 2020.
- Lawrence, Gregory (July 1, 2020). "The Trailer for Netflix's 'Fatal Affair' Delivers Cheesy Domestic Thriller Realness". Collider. Retrieved July 3, 2020.
- Penn, Charli (March 11, 2014). "Black Love: Keisha and Omar Epps' Beautiful Love Story". essence. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
- LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (2003). "Notable Alumni". Alumni and Friends of LaGuardia High School. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
- RepresentUs (2020). "Unbreaking America: Justice for Sale". RepresentUs. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
- Harnick, Chris (August 31, 2019). "This Is Us Season 4 Twist! See the Trailer & Meet the New Cast". E! Online. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
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