S. Epatha Merkerson

S. Epatha Merkerson

Highest Rated: 93% Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Lowest Rated: 13% The Rising Place (2002)

Birthday: Nov 28, 1952

Birthplace: Saginaw, Michigan, USA

As an acclaimed performer with gritty but approachable style, actress S. Epatha Merkerson began her career on the stage both on and off-Broadway before moving to television, where she played the longest-running character on the seemingly eternal "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010). Prior to her run on the procedural, Merkerson was perhaps best known for her small, but memorable role as a screaming wife in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991) while continuing her onstage success with an OBIE Award for her performance in "I'm Not Stupid" (1992). But in 1993, Merkerson went from virtual unknown to household regular who, over the next 17 years, was seen portraying the tough, but determined Lt. Anita Van Buren on "Law & Order," a role she reprised in episodes of the spin-off series and a made-for-television movie. She had arguably her greatest critical success with her leading performance as the spirited "Nanny" Crosby in the acclaimed television movie "Lackawanna Blues" (HBO, 2005), a role that won the actress both a Golden Globe and Emmy Award. Because of her longevity on "Law & Order" and the praise received for "Lackawanna Blues," Merkerson emerged as a highly desirable character actress capable of delivering consistent quality performances.

Highest rated movies

Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Mother and Child
Lackawanna Blues
Black Snake Moan
Year by the Sea




48% 81% Year by the Sea Liz (Character) - 2016
No Score Yet 52% The Challenger Jada (Character) $19.0K 2015
No Score Yet 79% The Gabby Douglas Story Miss Caroline (Character) - 2014
38% 49% Peeples Daphne Peeples (Character) $9.1M 2013
89% 81% Lincoln Lydia Smith (Character) $182.2M 2012
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Contradictions of Fair Hope Director,
Executive Producer
- 2012
78% 76% Mother and Child Ada (Character) $1.1M 2009
No Score Yet No Score Yet Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun Narrator - 2008
No Score Yet 25% The Six Wives of Henry Lefay Effa (Character) - 2008
No Score Yet 69% Girl, Positive Ariel Winters (Character) - 2007
66% 69% Black Snake Moan Angela (Character) $9.4M 2007
75% 91% Lackawanna Blues Rachel "Nanny" Crosby (Character) - 2005
35% 79% Radio Maggie (Character) $52.3M 2003
13% No Score Yet The Rising Place Lessie Watson (Character) - 2002
No Score Yet 61% A Girl Thing Lani (Co-worker) (Character) - 2001
No Score Yet 62% Exiled: A Law & Order Movie Lieutenant Anita Van Buren (Character) - 1998
No Score Yet No Score Yet An Unexpected Life Beverly Hawkins (Character) - 1998
No Score Yet 82% Breaking Through Barbara (Character) - 1996
No Score Yet No Score Yet Breaking Free Barbara (Character) - 1996
No Score Yet No Score Yet A Mother's Prayer Ruby (Character) - 1995
No Score Yet 68% A Place for Annie Alice (Character) - 1994
No Score Yet No Score Yet It's Nothing Personal Louise Waters (Character) - 1993
93% 94% Terminator 2: Judgment Day Tarissa Dyson (Character) $552.8K 1991


No Score Yet 64% Chicago Med Sharon Goodwin (Character) 2015-2021
No Score Yet No Score Yet America's Antiques Roadshow Guest 2021
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Real Guest 2021
No Score Yet 87% Finding Your Roots Guest 2019-2020
No Score Yet 89% Chicago P.D. Sharon Goodwin (Guest Star) 2016 2018-2019
No Score Yet 87% Chicago Fire Sharon Goodwin (Guest Star) 2015-2017 2019
No Score Yet No Score Yet Women of Power Guest 2015
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Better Show Guest 2014
No Score Yet No Score Yet Katie Guest 2014
No Score Yet 22% Find Our Missing Host 2012-2013
37% 62% Deception Beverly (Guest Star) 2013
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Wendy Williams Show Guest 2012-2013
93% 91% The Good Wife Judge Melanie Ellis (Guest Star) 2013
72% 53% Drop Dead Diva Judge Hiller (Guest Star) 2012
No Score Yet No Score Yet Vine Talk Guest 2011
No Score Yet 96% Law & Order Lt. Anita Van Buren (Character) 1993-2010
No Score Yet No Score Yet Live With Regis and Kelly Guest 2008
83% 83% The Closer Dr. Rebecca Dioli (Guest Star) 2007
No Score Yet No Score Yet Rachael Ray Guest 2006
No Score Yet No Score Yet Law & Order: Trial by Jury Unknown (Guest Star) 2005
No Score Yet 84% Law & Order: Criminal Intent Unknown (Guest Star) 2002
93% 93% Frasier Dr. McCaskill (Guest Star) 2000
No Score Yet 100% The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Guest 2000
24% 80% Here and Now Claudia St. Marth (Character) 1992-1993