"Sunjata," originally his middle name, is a Guinean word for "hungry lion" and was given to him by his adoptive parents.
Played on two state championship football teams in high school.
Performed in a student play his sophomore year at Florida A&M, which prompted him to switch majors from business to fine arts.
Began making a name for himself on stage in the late 1990s, particularly in Twelfth Night with Helen Hunt, and then on TV, most notably as a sailor attempting to woo Sarah Jessica Parker on a 2002 episode of Sex and the City.
In 2003 won a Theater World Award and earned his first Tony nomination for playing a gay baseball player in Take Me Out.
In 2003 was named by People magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful people of the year.
Came to the public's attention as New York firefighter Franco Rivera on Rescue Me in 2004 and as Nurse Eli on Grey's Anatomy in 2010.
Has shown support for the 9/11 Truth Movement that wants the 9/11 attacks to be reinvestigated; in a 2009 interview with Russia Today said he believes the 9/11 attacks were an inside job.