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Hill Harper

Harper signing copies of his book Letters to a Young Brother, 2007
Born Francis Harper[1]
May 17, 1966 (1966-05-17) (age 43)
Iowa City, Iowa, U.S.A.

Hill Harper (born Francis Harper;[1] May 17, 1966) is an American film, television and stage actor and an author. Harper attended Harvard Law School.


Personal life

Harper was born in Iowa City, Iowa, the son of Harry Harper, a psychiatrist, and Marilyn Hill, who was one of the first black practicing anesthesiologists in the United States.[1][2][3] He has been acting since the age of 7. Harper graduated from Brown University and also graduated with a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a Master of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. During his years at Harvard, he was a full-time member of Boston's Black Folks Theater Company, one of the oldest and most acclaimed black theater troupes in the country.

Although Harper obtained a JD and MPA, he chose to use neither and instead moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2009 by Westfield State College.

Harper adopted the name "Hill" as tribute to both his maternal and paternal ancestors.[citation needed]

In January, 2008, he participated in Yes We Can, a music video supporting Barack Obama, produced by Will.I.Am. Harper is a member of the Obama for America National Finance Committee.[4]

As of October 2009, Hill has made contributions of $7,900 to political candidates, exclusively to Democrats.

Hill Harper recently launched a social network aimed at encouraging solutions to some of society's challenges.[citation needed]

In the Fall of 2008, Harper was initiated as a brother of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity with his line brothers Dr. Naim Akbar of Florida State University and former NFL player LeMarcus Newman.[citation needed]

Harper endorsed the 10,000 Bookbags back to school backpack campaign to help local disadvantaged children with Urban Change Ministries founder Pastor Jay Cameron of the Life Center and R&B singer Ginuwine.[5] Hill Harper has stated that he is a fiscal conservative when he appeared on the Hannity Show on September 10, 2009.


Harper broke into both film and television in 1993, doing recurring work on the Fox series Married...with Children and making his film debut in the short Confessions of a Dog. He had his first substantial role in a feature in Spike Lee's Get on the Bus (1996), which cast him as a UCLA film student riding a bus to the Million Man March in Washington, D.C. He went on to further demonstrate his versatility in such films as Lee's He Got Game (1998) and Christopher Scott Cherot's Hav Plenty (1998), the latter of which featured him as an egotistical pop-soul singer. His profile subsequently rose on both the mainstream and independent film circuits, thanks to roles in films ranging from Beloved (film) (1998) to the independent romantic comedy Loving Jezebel (1999) to The Skulls (2000), an entry into the teen thriller genre. Harper did some of his most acclaimed work in Jordan Walker Pearlman's The Visit (2000), an independent drama in which he starred as a prisoner dying of AIDS who tries to put his life back together. His best-known role to date is that of coroner-turned-crime-scene-investigator Sheldon Hawkes on the American TV show CSI: NY, the second spin-off from the very successful CSI: Crime Scene Investigation franchise.

Harper is the author of three books: Letters to a Young Brother, published in 2006, Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny, published in 2008 and "The Conversation", published in 2009.


Film Year Role Notes
Married with Children 1994 Aaron Mitchell
Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings 1994 Peter
Get on the Bus 1996 Xavier
Steel 1997 Slats
The Nephew 1998 Chad Egan-Washington
Beloved 1998
He Got Game 1998 Coleman 'Booger' Sykes
Hav Plenty 1998 Michael Simmons
Mama Flora's Family 1998 Don
Park Day 1998 Steve Johnson
In Too Deep 1999 Breezy T.
Loving Jezebel 1999 Theodorous
Slaves of Hollywood 1999 Fisher
City of Angels (TV series) 2000 Dr. Wesley Williams Nominated Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
The Skulls 2000 Will Beckford
The Visit 2000 Alex Waters Nominated Black Reel Best Actor

Nominated Independant Spirit Award Best Male Lead

Won Method Fest Best Actor

The Handler 2003 Darnell Nominated Saturn Award Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Drama
Soul Food (TV series) 2004 Kelvin Chadway
CSI: NY 2004–present Dr. Sheldon Hawkes Nominated Image Award Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series (2005)

Nominated Image Award Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series (2006)

Nominated Image Award Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series (2007)

Nominated Image Award Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series (2010)

Won an Image Award Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series (2008)

Won an Image Award Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series (2009)

Won an Image Award Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series (2010)

The Sopranos 2004 Stokley Davenport M.D.
Woman Thou Art Loosed 2004
Love, Sex and Eating the Bones 2004 Michael Joseph
Lackawanna Blues 2005 Ruben, Jr. (Adult)
The 4400 2005 Edwin Mayuya
Constellation 2005 Errol Hickman
Max and Josh 2006 Josh (also co-writer)
The Breed 2006 Noah
Premium 2006 Ed
This Is Not a Test 2008 Carl Won Urban World Festival Award Best film
A Good Man is Hard To Find 2008
The Game (U.S. TV series) 2009 Himself
Mama, I Want to Sing! 2010 Jeff Andrews


External links



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