S. Epatha Merkerson

New York, New York, United States

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S. Epatha Merkerson's Geni Profile

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S. Epatha Merkerson

Current Location:: New York, New York, United States
Birthplace: Saginaw, Saginaw, Michigan, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of <private> Merkerson
Ex-wife of <private> Jones

Occupation: actress
Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

    • <private> Jones
    • <private> Merkerson

About S. Epatha Merkerson

IMDb Mini Biography

A native of Michigan, S. Epatha Merkerson earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Wayne State University. In 1978, she moved to New York City to apply her craft on stage. Although best known since 1993 as the smart and shrewd Lieutenant Anita Van Buren on the long-running TV crime drama "Law & Order" (1990), she has a long list of Broadway and off-Broadway credits and honors that include Drama Desk Award and Tony Award nominations for Best Actress for her performance in the August Wilson play The Piano Lesson (1995) (TV), a 1992 Obie Award for her performance in "I'm Not Stupid," and a 1998 Helen Hayes Award for her starring role in the Studio Theater production in Washington, DC, of the John Henry Redwood play "The Old Settler." Her first appearance on television was a guest-starring role on an episode of "The Cosby Show" (1984). Her earliest regular role in television, however, was that of Reba the Mail Woman on "Pee-wee's Playhouse" (1986). Merkerson remains a theatrical force on the stage and on the screen and has the distinction of having been nominated for an Image Award in the Outstanding-Lead-Actress-in-a-Drama category for "Law & Order" (1990) for three consecutive years by the NAACP.

Epatha plays Lydia Hamilton Smith (1816 - 1884) in the 2012 biographical film, "Lincoln."


  • "My dad said he had a teacher named Epatha who was influential in keeping him in school. But my mother said it was an old girlfriend of his. So that's why she stuck in the Sharon Epatha. That's what the "S" stands for. Everyone knows now because some numbskull I went to high school with decided to put it on the Internet."


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S. Epatha Merkerson's Timeline

November 28, 1952
Saginaw, Saginaw, Michigan, United States

Birth first name is Sharon, but legally changed to S. later on.

Source for birth date:

U.S. Public Records Index, Volume 2
Name: Epatha S Merkerson
Birth Date: 28 Nov 1952
Address: 217 W 110th St Apt 9, New York, NY, 10026-4185
Source Information:
Ancestry.com. U.S. Public Records Index, Volume 2 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
Original data: Voter Registration Lists, Public Record Filings, Historical Residential Records, and Other Household Database Listings
The U.S. Public Records Index is a compilation of various public records spanning all 50 states in the United States from 1950 to 1993. Entries in this index may contain the following information: name, street or mailing address, telephone number, birth date or birth year.