Omar Epps

Active - 1992 - Present  |   Born - Jul 20, 1973 in Brooklyn, New York, United States  |   Genres - Drama

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Bearing talent and good looks in equal measure, African American actor Omar Epps first became visible to audiences and critics alike with his 1992 film debut in Ernest R. Dickerson's urban drama Juice. Epps shone in his role as one of a group of four Harlem friends trying to make good, with the praise he earned for his work paving the way for steady industry employment.

Born Omar Hashim Epps in Brooklyn, New York, on July 23, 1973, Epps was raised by his mother, an elementary school principal. He nurtured his interest in acting at both the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and the New York High School for the Performing Arts. After his breakthrough in Juice, Epps ran the risk of being typecast, playing athletes in a series of films. However, his performances were consistently solid, and he earned particular acclaim for his portrayal of a young man attending college on an athletic scholarship in John Singleton's Higher Learning (1995). Around this same time, Epps also excelled in a brief recurring role as an emotionally stressed intern on E.R.; he would later identify that role as the one that made it possible for audiences to finally put a name to his face.

After some memorable roles in Scream 2, In Too Deep, and Love & Basketball, Epps entered the 2000's strong. He would appear in various films over the coming years, like Perfume, Big Trouble, and Against the Ropes. Epps would also find tremendous success on the small sceen, with a starring role on the massively popular medical drama House M.D.

Movie Highlights

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Factsheet

  • Began writing screenplays at age 10; starred in a production of Grease in elementary school.
  • Formed a rap group, Wolfpack, in 1991; has directed videos for rappers Heather B. and Special Ed.
  • With his childhood friends Marlon and Shawn Wayans, wrote the theme song for the 1995-99 WB series The Wayans Bros.
  • Nominated for an NAACP Image Award, a Black Reel Award, an MTV Movie Award and a Teen Choice Award for his role in the 2000 movie Love & Basketball.
  • His mother, a retired New York City public-school administrator, is a minister in Brooklyn.
  • Won the NAACP Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of Dr. Eric Foreman on House two years in a row, in 2007 and 2008.
  • Formed his own production company, Brooklyn Works Films.
  • Said that playing a doctor on TV makes him ask a lot more questions at his own doctors' appointments.
  • His hobbies include boxing and shooting at the gun range.
  • Barbecue potato chips are his guilty-pleasure food.
  • Said that his writing helps his acting: "I understand characters and it gives me different depth as an actor."