Mekhi Phifer Net Worth: Biography, Family, Height, Career And Others


Short Biography: Mekhi Phifer was raised by his mother Rhoda, a high school teacher, and is a native of Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood. His foray into the acting profession began with an open casting call audition for Spike Lee’s 1995 film Clockers, in which he was cast as the lead.

Mekhi Phifer Net Worth

In the realm of thespian pursuits, Mekhi Phifer, a lauded luminary in the American acting domain, commands a financial empire valuing at $500 thousand. His eminence stems from distinguished performances in cinematic masterpieces such as “8 Mile,” “Clockers,” and “Paid in Full.” Nonetheless, the fiscal odyssey of this artist has encountered formidable trials in recent epochs, a notable downturn being the invocation of bankruptcy proceedings in 2014. Throughout this temporal juncture, he found himself in the throes of financial indebtedness, surpassing the formidable sum of $1 million, owed singularly to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Mekhi Phifer Biography

Originating from the colorful streets of Harlem, Manhattan, Mekhi Phifer began his journey with his mother Rhoda, a respected high school teacher. His first acting experience was at an open casting call that director Spike Lee organized for the 1995 movie “Clockers”. Remarkably, he landed the crucial lead part, costarring with such film heavyweights as Harvey Keitel and Delroy Lindo. Both spectators and critics found his portrayal of Strike, a young drug dealer involved in a murder cover-up, to be compelling, and he was commended for it.

Mekhi Phifer Childhood

Born into the bustling energy of Harlem, New York City, on December 29, 1974, Mekhi Phifer’s narrative unfolds against the urban backdrop of this iconic locale. Raised by the formidable Rhoda Phifer, a resilient single parent navigating the avenues of life, young Mekhi’s upbringing was shaped by the dedicated endeavors of his mother, who served as a beacon of wisdom as a high school educator. In the vibrant tapestry of his early years, the echoes of Harlem’s cultural heartbeat resonate alongside the unwavering support and guidance provided by his singularly remarkable mother.

Mekhi Phifer Education

In the realm of adolescence, Mekhi Phifer graced the halls of Lincoln Square Auxiliary High School, culminating in his graduation in the illustrious year of 1994.

Post the scholastic chapter, Mekhi Phifer embarked upon an academic sojourn at the venerable State University of New York’s New Paltz institution. During his tenure, the focus of his scholarly pursuits took the form of electrical engineering. However, destiny dictated a divergence from this scholarly path, as he redirected his energies toward the thespian realm.

The ebb and flow of Phifer’s educational odyssey reflect the tapestry of a dynamic individual navigating the corridors of knowledge and the footlights of a burgeoning acting career.

Mekhi Phifer Personal Life

Mekhi Phifer’s familial tapestry unfolds with the presence of his firstborn, Omikaye Phifer, born to his initial union with the talented actress Malinda Williams. Alas, the journey of matrimony took its twists, leading to the dissolution of this union.

A subsequent chapter in Phifer’s paternal narrative introduces Mekhi Thira Phifer Jr., a testament to his connection with Oni Souratha. The threads of life weaving this familial canvas tell a tale of love and relationships, each chapter uniquely contributing to the mosaic of Phifer’s existence.

In 2011, the thespian took a leap beyond the silver screen, inaugurating Third Reel Films. This visionary venture sought to empower filmmakers, providing a platform for their creations to captivate the attention of entertainment connoisseurs.

On a pivotal day in Beverly Hills, precisely on the 30th of March 2013, Phifer sealed his commitment to Reshelet Barnes in the sacred bonds of matrimony. A ceremony not merely marking an alliance but an affirmation of enduring love.

Beyond the glitz of Hollywood, Mekhi Phifer dons the hat of a dedicated Chairman for The Vine Group USA, a non-profit organization sprouting from the seeds planted in the year 2000. The noble mission echoes through time, aiming to furnish educational resources to diverse African universities. The altruistic heartbeat of this initiative resonates with Phifer’s commitment to making a positive impact beyond the silver screen.

Mekhi Phifer Family

Mekhi Phifer and Malinda Williams tied the knot in the annals of marriage in the departed year 1999.  From their union blossomed a singular testament of their love: a son named Omikaye. However, the tapestry of their shared journey unraveled, leading to the dissolution of their marital bond in 2003.

Amidst life’s twists, a new chapter unfolded as Phifer found companionship anew, entwining his fate with Reshelet Barnes in the auspicious year of 2013. Unlike the previous union, this marriage endures, a testament to the resilience of love.

The threads of Phifer’s familial narrative extend further with the presence of Mikhi Jr., a progeny from his romantic liaison with Oni Souratha. The chronicle of their connection spanned from 2004 to 2007, marked by an engagement that, despite its brevity, never transitioned into the covenant of marriage.

Thus, Mekhi Phifer’s relational journey weaves a rich tapestry, adorned with the complexities of love, commitment, and the evolving chapters of human connection.


Reshelet Barnes found herself in a tale devoid of cinematic frames but enriched with the presence of Mekhi Phifer. Their enduring connection culminated in a splendid union on Saturday, March 30, unfolding within the opulent ambiance of the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills.

The officiation of the ceremony was gracefully conducted by TV’s esteemed Judge Greg Mathis, adding an extra layer of significance to the union of the former “ER” practitioner and his bride, both adorned in pristine white attire.

As the 38-year-old Phifer made his entrance into the outdoor affair, the soulful strains of Stevie Wonder’s “Ribbon in the Sky” serenaded the atmosphere. Noteworthy was the charming inclusion of one of his sons, guiding the couple’s Chihuahua down the aisle, creating a heartwarming tableau for the 100 attendees of family and friends.

While Phifer embraced a contemporary musical backdrop, Barnes adhered to tradition, walking down the aisle to the timeless notes of “Here Comes the Bride.” An observer shared the sentiment of the moment, recounting how Mekhi, overwhelmed with emotion, had to delicately wipe away tears for several minutes, clearly captivated by his bride’s entrance.

The ceremony itself unfolded swiftly, spanning a mere 15 minutes. Underneath an arch adorned with vibrant yellow flowers, the couple exchanged rings and participated in a unity sand ceremony. This symbolic ritual involved the simultaneous pouring of differently hued sands into a unified container, symbolizing the aspirations for a marriage enduring as long as the intricacies of separating individual grains of sand once intermingled. The heartfelt proceedings culminated in a well-deserved standing ovation.

For Mekhi Phifer, this marks his second venture into matrimony, having previously been married to actress Malinda Williams from 1999 to 2003, resulting in a son named Omikaye. Additionally, he shares parenthood with ex-girlfriend Oni Souratha, blessed with a five-year-old son named Mekhi Thira Phifer Jr.

Mekhi Phifer Major Works

In the annals of 1996, Mekhi Phifer’s year was filled with memorable events as he became ‘Junior Bunk’ in the hit TV crime drama ‘Homicide: Life on the Streets,’ playing a recurring part. Concurrently, he made a guest appearance on “The Wayans Bros.” to grace the sitcom scene.

The annals of 1999 witnessed a surge in Mekhi Phifer’s prominence, courtesy of his compelling performance in ‘A Lesson Before Dying,’ a televised rendition of the timeless novel, sharing the screen with Don Cheadle, earning him a coveted NAACP Image Award nomination.

In the dawn of 2000, Phifer immersed himself in the revival venture of ‘Shaft,’ a cinematic endeavor featuring Samuel L. Jackson in the lead role. As Agent Collins in the fourth episode of ‘White Collar,’ he received praise and appreciation for his performance.

Mekhi Phifer embraced a tapestry of roles, navigating the complex worlds of film and television while creating a lasting impression on the entertainment industry.

Mekhi Phifer Height

Renowned for his roles in the iconic television series ER and cinematic ventures such as Dawn of the Dead and Imposter, the American actor stands tall in the realms of entertainment. In a candid moment during 2001, he casually remarked,  5’11 I think the same as Allen Iverson,” adding a touch of humor and self-awareness to his stature in both the literal and figurative sense.

Mekhi Phifer Career

In the realm of acting, he initially captivated attention with a notable debut in Spike Lee’s urban drama “Clockers” (1995), portraying the character of the small-time drug dealer Ronald “Strike” Dunham. The journey commenced with a fortuitous turn at an open-casting call in 1994, where, despite possessing minimal prior experience, he eclipsed almost 1,000 contenders with his exceptional charisma and an innate understanding of Harlem’s streets.

Following this breakthrough, he ventured into the realm of comedy with the film “High School High” (1996), coincidentally sharing the screen with his former spouse, Malinda Williams. The cinematic journey continued with his role in the heartfelt film “Soul Food” (1997).

Amidst the annals of 1998, he embarked upon the chilling realm, sharing the screen with Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jennifer Love Hewitt in “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.” Concurrently, he graced “Hell’s Kitchen” (1998) with his presence. The subsequent year, 1999, witnessed his thespian prowess in dual cinematic ventures: “A Lesson Before Dying” and “Uninvited Guest.” Remarkably, the latter marked his second collaboration with Malinda Williams, his former consort. This diverse cinematic odyssey underscores his malleability and enduring influence within the entertainment sphere.

Awards and Achievements

In leaving an indelible mark on observers, Mekhi Phifer’s portrayal as Dr. Gregory Pratt in the medical narrative “ER” garnered him dual nominations for the NAACP Image Award. Moreover, he clinched a subsequent nomination for the NAACP Image Award for his contributions to the televised chronicle “A Lesson Before Dying.”

The year 2002 bestowed upon Mekhi Phifer the esteemed Rising Star accolade at the renowned American Black Film Festival, marking his escalating prominence in the entertainment sphere.

In a captivating twist of fate in 2004, Phifer seized the Celebrity Poker Showdown Championship by prevailing over Neil Patrick Harris during the fierce competition in the show’s fourth season. This triumph added a unique plume to his cap, showcasing his adaptability not solely in acting but also in the domain of strategic card games.

Mekhi Phifer Other Activities

Beyond his acting pursuits, Phifer extends his influence into the realms of business and entrepreneurship. Proprietorship of multiple franchises specializing in athletic footwear under the banner “Athlete’s Foot” in California is among his diverse ventures. Simultaneously, he assumes the leadership role at Third Reel Films, a production company initiated in January 2011.

Engaging in philanthropy, Phifer actively participates in charitable initiatives, notably the Celebrity Poker Showdown Championship event. In the 2004 edition, he emerged victorious, surpassing actor Neil Patrick Harris. Demonstrating his commitment to education, Phifer serves as the Chairman of the Board for The Vine Group USA, a non-profit organization dedicated to furnishing educational resources to universities situated in Africa.


Mekhi Phifer, raised in Harlem, entered the acting scene with Spike Lee’s “Clockers” in 1995. Despite financial struggles, his career flourished with notable works like “8 Mile.” Educational pursuits initially in electrical engineering diverted to acting. Personal life saw marriages, including one enduring since 2013, and fatherhood. Besides acting, he founded Third Reel Films, won Celebrity Poker Showdown, and chairs a non-profit aiding African universities.


What is Mekhi Phifer’s net worth?

Mekhi Phifer’s net worth is $500 thousand.

When did Mekhi Phifer face bankruptcy proceedings?

In 2014, Mekhi Phifer underwent bankruptcy proceedings, with debts exceeding $1 million owed to the IRS.

What is Mekhi Phifer’s notable breakthrough role?

Phifer gained recognition for his role as Strike in Spike Lee’s “Clockers” (1995).

What awards has Mekhi Phifer received?

Phifer received NAACP Image Award nominations for his roles in “ER” and “A Lesson Before Dying.” In 2002, he won the Rising Star accolade at the American Black Film Festival.

Tell us about Mekhi Phifer’s philanthropic efforts?

Mekhi Phifer actively engages in philanthropy, serving as Chairman of the Board for The Vine Group USA, a non-profit organization supporting education in African universities.

Apart from acting, what business ventures is Mekhi Phifer involved in?

Mekhi Phifer owns franchises specializing in athletic footwear and leads Third Reel Films, a production company founded in 2011.