With his bald pate and imposing frame -- the press once listed him as 6' tall and 215 pounds -- actor Steve Harris found it relatively easy to usher in a threatening and dominating screen presence when necessary, so it was scarcely surprising that he often found himself cast as heavies on both sides of the law in films such as Street Hunter (1990), The Mod Squad (1999), and The Skulls. Harris escaped from the confines of that typecast, however (and netted a substantial amount of critical attention) with two roles: that of mythical heavyweight Sonny Liston in the 2000 telemovie Muhammad Ali: King of the World, directed by John Sacret Young, and that of defense attorney Eugene Young on the ABC legal drama series The Practice (beginning in 1997). The smashing success of that program opened up many doors for the actor, including roles in Steven Spielberg's sci-fi thriller Minority Report (2002) and the urban seriocomedy Tyler Perry's Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005). With the grisly horror outing Quarantine (2008) and the Renny Harlin-directed actioner 12 Rounds (2009), it seemed that Harris' career had come full circle. He would go on to appear on shows like Friday Nights and Awake.
A native of the Chicago suburb of Westchester, IL, Harris grew up as the son of a homemaker and a bus driver. He initially embarked on a promising football career, with the position of linebacker at Northern Illinois University, but torn ligaments in his ankles made it impossible for him to continue, and he instead hearkened off to the stage, establishing his dramatic roots behind the footlights with roles in regional productions of Julius Caesar and Macbeth.