Georgia native Omari Hardwick spent his formative years interested mainly in football, playing as a defensive back for the Furman Purple Paladins, and later for the University of Georgia Bulldogs. It was at UG where Hardwick first took an interest in acting, studying his craft in school and acting in a local theater troupe. Hardwick eventually moved to New York to act on Broadway, and later relocated to L.A. to pursue more on-camera roles. His big break came in 2004, when he was cast in Spike Lee's Sucker Free City, and within a few years, Hardwick was regularly appearing on the drama Saved. He stayed with the show for a season, and later made waves with a starring role in another Spike Lee project, 2008's Miracle at St. Anna. This soon led to a comedic turn in the crime comedy Next Day Air and the action comedy Kick Ass. He co-starred with Dylan McDermott in TNT's television series Dark Blue, in which he played a newlywed struggling to balance married liife with a demanding career in law enforcement (2009-2011), and took on a small role in the critically claimed musical drama Sparkle in 2012.
Biography by Cammila Collar
- Placed in the top five in the 2003 and 2004 National Poetry Slam Competitions.
- Played football in high school (for the Marist War Eagles), college (for the Furman Purple Paladins and then for the University of Georgia Bulldogs) and professionally (for the San Diego Chargers).
- Cofounded the theater group Plan B and the Actor's Lounge in Los Angeles.
- Spent two years training to be a Los Angeles paramedic and fireman before he took on his role in TNT's 2006 drama series Saved.
- Founded the production company Bravelife Films.
- Supports youth-violence prevention and anti-bullying organizations.