OMAR EPPS Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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Born Omar Hashim Epps in Brooklyn, New York, on May 16, 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. Omar has starred in two HBO Original movies, First-Time Felon, directed by Charles Roc Dutton, and Deadly Voyage, produced by Danny Glover. In First-Time Felon, Omar plays Greg Yance, a street-wise drug dealer and gang member in Chicago. Following his conviction, Yance is given the choice to remain in prison or finish his time in boot camp. Choosing boot camp, he quickly realizes that his sense of courage and desire to succeed will allow him to triumph. In Deadly Voyage, Epps stars as Kingsley Ofusu, the sole survivor of a group of nine African stowaways who fled Ghana on a Ukraine cargo ship. John J. O’Connor of The New York Times noted that Epps played superbly in the lead role as Ofusu, whom he was honored to meet prior to filming. Both are based on true stories.


Epps also portrayed Dr. Dennis Gant on the Emmy Award-winning drama ER As a surgical resident, he teamed up with Dr. Carter (Noah Wyle) and Dr. Benton (Eriq La Salle). In one of the most talked-about departures, Omar left audiences wondering whether his character committed suicide or not. No stranger to the big screen, Epps has appeared in lead roles in feature films such as The Wood, In Too Deep, John Singleton’s Higher Learning, Juice and Daybreak. His supporting roles include Breakfast of Champions, opposite Bruce Willis and Nick Nolte, Major League 2, opposite Charlie Sheen, and The Program, with Craig Sheffer. Omar was also seen in Hollywood’s best-kept secret, Scream 2, The Mod Squad, with Claire Danes, DK2 and Love and Basketball. He was also seen in Takeshi Kitano’s Brother, the story of a displaced Yakuza gangster (Kitano) who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a black hustler (Epps). Together they embark on a violent struggle to take over the drug turf of East LA. He was recently seen in Barry Sonnenfeld’s Big Trouble, in which he played an FBI agent, starring alongside Tim Allen, Rene Russo, Tom Sizemore and Jason Lee.