S Epatha Merkerson Bio, Age, Height, Chicago Med, Law & Order, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, Net Worth, Parents, and Husband

S Epatha Merkerson Bio, Wiki

S Epatha Merkerson born Sharon Epatha Merkerson is an American Actress well known for her appearance in the police procedural drama series Law & Order playing the role of Lieutenant Anita Van Buren. She has also appeared in Pee-wee’s Playhouse as Reba the Mail Lady, and in Chicago Med as Sharon Goodwin.

S Epatha Merkerson Age

Merkerson was born in Saginaw, Michigan, United States on 28th November 1952. She is 71 years old as of 2024 and she celebrates her birthday on November 28th every year.

S Epatha Merkerson Height/Measurements

Merkerson stands at an approximate height of 5 feet 5 inches.

S Epatha Merkerson Education

Merkerson attended Cooley High School where she graduated in 1970. She later went to Wayne State University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre in 1976. In 1978, she graduated with a masters degree in fine arts at New York University. Merkerson was made an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in May 2009 by Wayne State University and she got the same distinction in 2012 from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, from the University of Pittsburgh in 2017, and from Montclair State University in 2013.

S. Epatha Merkerson
S. Epatha Merkerson

S Epatha Merkerson Career

Merkerson first appeared on television as Reba the Mail Lady in the film Pee-wee’s Playhouse in 1986. She has also appeared in other series such as The Cosby Show, CBS Summer Playhouse, Equal Justice among others. She appeared in the police procedural drama Law & Order playing the role of Denise Winters. The producers were impressed by her performance and she was selected to replace Dann Florek as detective squad chief in season four. This made her on of the few actors to get a recurring role after a single appearance on the show.

After having a lead role in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, her career started to rise. After that, Merkerson played the role of Berniece in The Piano Lesson, a winning play. Due to her performance in the show, she was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Featured Actress in a Play. Merkerson appeared in I’m Not Stupid and Birdie Blue and won 2 Obie Awards for her performance. She was also nominated for F**king A, and also got a Helen Hayes Award for The Old Settler. Merkerson’s screen credits include Loose Cannons, James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Jacob’s Ladder, She’s Gotta Have It, and Navy Seals.

In 2006 Merkerson won an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild award due to her performance in the film Lackawanna Blues. She starred in Come Back, Little Sheba in 2007 as Lola Delaney. The production opened a run in January 2008 and she earned a second Tony nomination. It was confirmed on 1st April, 2012 that Merkerson was leaving Law & Order after 17 seasons. Her departure from the series was also the last episode of the show. In total, she appeared on the show for 17 seasons which totaled to 395 episodes which was more than any other actor from the program.

In 2012, she hosted Find Our Missing, which is a reality-reenactment series which profiles missing people. Merkerson performed in the 2012 film called Lydia Hamilton Smith. In 2014, she also appeared in While I Yet Live which was written by Billy Porter. The following year, she appeared in the NBC medical drama series Chicago Med where she played the role of Sharon Goodwin. The series was written by the creator of Law & Order, Dick Wolf alongside Derek Haas, Matt Olmstead, and Michael Brandt. In 2014, she became a spokesperson for the Diabetes Challenge of Merck America, to increase awareness of Type 2 diabetes among African Americans.

S Epatha Merkerson Net Worth

Throughout her career as an actress, Merkerson has been able to accumulate an estimated net worth of between $6 Million – $11 Million.

S Epatha Merkerson Parents and Siblings

Merkerson was born in Saginaw, Michigan and brought up in Detroit by her mother, Ann Merkerson, who worked for the post office. She has raised alongside four siblings; Barrie Merkerson, Linda Merkerson, Zephry Merkerson, and Debbie Merkerson-Gooch where she is the youngest of all. She has not provided any information concerning her father to the public.

S Epatha Merkerson Husband

Merkerson got married to Toussaint L. Jones in 1994 but they separated in 2006. Since then, she has not been in any relationship. She has not revealed whether she has a son or a daughter to the public yet.

S Epatha Merkerson Chicago Med

Merkerson appeared in the series Chicago Med which aired in 2015 where she portrayed Sharon Goodwin. Sharon is the Patient and Medical Services’ Executive Director at Gaffney Chicago Medical Center. As a former charge nurse, she views issues from a nurse’s perspective and is very protective of those who work under her and is inclined to follow protocols and rules. This mostly resulted in heated arguments with members of staff who want to do what is right even if it is illegal.

S Epatha Merkerson Law & Order

Merkerson appeared in the television series Law & Order which aired in 1993 portraying Lieutenant Anita Van Buren. Anita was the commanding officer of the 27th Precinct. While serving as the squad leader of the Two-Seven, she commanded several detectives including Mike Logan, Rey Curtis, Lennie Briscoe, Tony Profaci, Morris LaMotte, Reina Perez, Sammy Kurtz, Ana Cordova, Ed Green, Nina Cassady, Kevin Bernard, Nick Falco, and Joe Fontana. During an attempted robbery in 1994, Anita shot one of the robbers in the arm but the bullet went through and killed the other robber who was mentally disabled and unarmed. This action haunted her despite being cleared of any wrongdoing.

S Epatha Merkerson Pee-Wee’s Playhouse

Merkerson played the role of Reba the Mail Lady in the series Pee-Wee Playhouse which aired in 1986. Reba is the mail delivery woman for Puppetland who fell into Pee-Wee’s traps most of the time. She eventually got a boyfriend and a dog. She delivered Pen Pal Letters belonging to Pee-Wee and in Chairry-Tee Drive she contributed a dashiki to Pee-Wee’s clothing drive.

S Epatha Merkerson Illness

Merkerson has been struggling with Type 2 diabetes for more than ten years. She told TVGuide.com, that she was diagnosed with the disease about 13 years ago and that she has a famly history of the disease but she did not recognize the symptoms. She found out the hard way, when she was part of a health fair and had her blood sugar tested and it was very high. After that, she realized what the symptoms were that she had. The disease has resulted in her loss of weight as she dropped from 174 pounds to 135 pounds.

S Epatha Merkerson Cancer

Merkerson played a role Lieutenant Anita Van Buren in Law & Order where Anita had cervical cancer. However, Merkerson does not have cancer in real-life, but is running a serious anti-smoking crusade.

S Epatha Merkerson Films and TV Shows

  • She’s Gotta Have It
  • Navy Seals
  • Random Hearts
  • Jersey Girl
  • Tyler Perry Presents Peeples
  • Pee-wee’s Playhouse
  • CBS Summer Playhouse
  • A Place for Annie
  • Law & Order
  • A Mother’s Prayer
  • Frasier
  • Lackawanna Blues
  • Drop Dead Diva
  • Being Mary Jane
  • Chicago Med

S Epatha Merkerson Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

She is vocal on her social media accounts where she posts frequently. On her Twitter account, she has about 37.8K followers, around 27.4K followers on her Facebook page, and about 67.7K followers on her Instagram account.