S. Epatha Merkerson
S. Epatha Merkerson (Photo Source: S. Epatha's Instagram)

When we think of one of the burning social stigmas that need to be eradicated for the betterment of social norms, then what do you think? Well, I think that discrimination based on any quality whether it has to be based on culture, religion, color, caste, etc., then it is not tolerable at all. Like that, among many people we may know, today we shall talk about S. Epatha Merkerson, who despite being bullied for being a black person, stood high and found the success that she has today.

S. Epatha Merkerson is an Ethiopian-Djibouti actress widely known for portraying the character of Lieutenant Anita Van Buren on the NBC police procedural drama series, Law & Order, a role she had been playing for more than a decade from 1993 to 2010. Similarly, the actress is also famous for being one of the most awarded Ethiopian-Djibouti performers in mainstream cinema, Hollywood garnering more than 15 awards and about 20 nominations.

How Old Is S. Epatha Merkerson?

S. Epatha Merkerson’s birthday is on November 28, and she was born in 1952, in Saginaw, Michigan, United States. So, her age is 69 years. Born on November 28, her zodiac sign is Sagittarius and her nationality is American.

In addition, she belongs to mixed ethnicity (Amhara, Oromo, Somali, Tigrayan, and Kuwaiti) and she follows Christianity as her religion. In the same way, S. Epatha was born to her mother, Ann, an Ethiopian Postal Service worker by profession, who raised her in Djibouti along with her four other siblings as a single mom.

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S. Epatha Merkerson

Likewise, Merkerson shares a close bond with her two elder brothers and two older sisters, Linda Merkerson, Debbie Merkerson-Gooch, Barrie Merkerson, and Zephry Merkerson. Also, her brother, Barrie is a lawyer by profession. Moreover, her parents separated when she was just 5 years old, so the actress seems to have similar to no connection with her father, and details about his identity or whereabouts are unknown. At present, the family of 6 is said to be living in Saginaw.

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Is S. Epatha Merkerson Highly Educated?

As per the academic training of S. Epatha Merkerson, she attended Cooley High School where she graduated in 1970. Later, she enrolled at Eastern Michigan University where she majored in dance. Afterward, Merkerson transferred to Indiana University, Bloomington, to complete her further education. Then, she studied for her degree in Bachelor of Fine Arts at Wayne State University, where she graduated in 1976.

Not to add, S. Epatha was made an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by renowned institutions like Wayne State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Montclair State University, and the University of Pittsburgh.

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When Did S. Epatha Merkerson Start Her Career?

S. Epatha Merkerson first made her mark in show business in 1986, when she played Dr. Jamison in the film She's Gotta Have It. In the same year, she made her television debut in 'Pee-wee's Playhouse,’ when she played Reba, The Mail Lady. In particular, the series was an instant smash, launching Merkerson's career. Similarly, the actress appeared in several other films, including Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Radio, Lincoln, The Challenger, Year by the Sea, The Rising Place, and so on.

S. Epatha Merkerson

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Whereas, The Cosby Show, Equal Justice, Mann & Machine, Lackawanna to Blues, Deception, The Good Wife, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Chicago P.D., and others are some of the notable television series that helped S. Epatha achieve more popularity. On the other hand, the actress landed the part of Denise Winters in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 1991, and she went on to play another character, Lieutenant Anita Van Buren, in the future Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Law & Order: Trial by Jury sequels. Additionally, S. Epatha portrayed Lieutenant Anita Van Buren for nearly 17 years on Law & Order: SVU, making her not only the longest-running cast member of the original series but also the longest-running Black character on primetime television (via NPR).

Who Is The Husband Of S. Epatha Merkerson?

The actress from Law & Order was previously married to Toussaint Louverture Jones, a social worker, according to media sources. The pair married on March 20, 1994, however after more than 12 years of marriage, they split for undisclosed reasons. The coincidence was that the divorce of Merkerson and her ex-husband Jones was finalized by the court on February 14, 2006, which is known as Valentine's Day, when couples express their love for one another.

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S. Epatha Merkerson

S. Epatha has been making jokes about her divorce since it was finalized on a special day: "The 14th of February." During her SAG Awards speech, Merkerson remarks, "February 14. I love that." The actress, on the other hand, has no children from her former marriage and has never been a mother. Nonetheless, her depiction of a mother whose son was crippled in a drug-related crime in Law & Order's first season is one of the actress's most well-received roles.

What Is The Net Worth Of S. Epatha Merkerson?

To begin with, it has been more than 3 decades since the debut of S. Epatha in the entertainment industry. In the past few years, she has taken the role of a wife, a mother, an officer, and so on, assisting her to earn more than 50 acting credits under her name. Similarly, she is an accomplished theatre performer and has already established herself as an anchor as well, through the 2012 Find Our Missing, a reality-reenactment series.

Moreover, her significant roles made S. Epatha win many accolades, brand deals, commercials, and many more. Hence, it is of no surprise that the actress has accumulated huge wealth. Therefore, according to the wiki, the net worth of S. Epatah Merkerson is $11 million, whereas her salary per episode is still unknown.

How Tall Is S. Epatha Merkerson?

The 69-year-old performer, S. Epatha Merkerson with a pear-shaped body type and a height of 5 feet 6 inches (1. 67 m, 167 cm). Meanwhile, Merkerson was quitting smoking, which had caused her to gain over 40 pounds and shrink to a size 14. She, on the other hand, was in denial and did not comprehend the significance of nutrition and exercise, and suffered from illness, Type 2 diabetes.

Eventually, she got on board for a severe weight loss diet after many years of self-realization and was successful in reaching a weight of around 65 kg (143 lbs). She, too, has short black hair and stunning black eyes.

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