Hill Harper, an accomplished film, television and stage actor, stars in the hit CBS drama series, CSI: NY (2004). He portrays “Dr. Sheldon Hawkes”, a reclusive coroner who walked away from a promising surgical career after the traumatic loss of two patients. This February, he will star in the HBO movie, Lackawanna Blues (2005), which is based on the critically-acclaimed stage play by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Recently, “People”magazine selected Harper as one of their”Sexiest Men Alive” (2004).
Prior to CSI: NY (2004), Harper co-starred as an ambitious undercover FBI operative on the CBS series, The Handler (2003), alongside Emmy Award nominee Joe Pantoliano. The role earned him a 2004 Golden Satellite Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. He has also been recognized by the NAACP Image Awards with a nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the CBS series, City of Angels (2000).
Harper received critical acclaim for his performance in the independent film, The Visit (2000), directed by Jordan Walker-Pearlman. which tells the story of two brothers who are forced to come together when the younger sibling (played by Harper), who is HIV-positive, is sentenced to death row for a crime he seemingly did not commit. His performance, which Daily Variety called “riveting”, earned him a Best Actor nomination by the Independent Spirit Awards. He re-teams with Walker-Pearlman in the upcoming independent feature, Constellation (2005), which chronicles the lives and loves of a family in the Deep South.
His recent film roles include the lead in the independent film, Love, Sex and Eating the Bones (2003), which was accepted into the Toronto International, Palm Springs, and Pan African film festivals. This intriguing film won “Best Canadian First Feature Film”in the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival and both”Best Feature”and”Audience Favorite”in the 2004 Pan African Film Festival. He has also completed work on the independent film, America Brown (2004), which was accepted into the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival. Harper’s other screen credits include: Loving Jezebel (1999)_, The Nephew (1998) (with Pierce Brosnan ), The Skulls (2000) (with Joshua Jackson ), In Too Deep (1999) (with Omar Epps. LL Cool J and Nia Long ), Beloved (1998), Hav Plenty (1997), He Got Game (1998) (with Denzel Washington ), and Get on the Bus (1996). Other films include Zooman (1995) (with Louis Gossett Jr.. Charles S. Dutton and CCH Pounder ),”Full Court Press” (with Ellen Burstyn and Taye Diggs ) and One Red Rose (1995), which he also co-wrote, for Showtime.
As a television actor, Harper has had numerous guest-starring roles. He recently appeared on recurring episodes of Showtime’s Soul Food (2000) and guest-starred on HBO’s The Sopranos (1999). He also starred in the CBS mini-series, Mama Flora’s Family (1998) and the UPN Network comedy/drama, Live Shot (1995). Other guest appearances include: ER (1994), NYPD Blue (1993), Murder One (1995), The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990) and Married with Children (1987).
Harper’s stage credits include appearances in off-Broadway productions of “Your Handsome Captain”, “Freeman”, and David Mamet ‘s “American Buffalo”. He completed a starring run of Jessica Hagedorn ‘s “Dogeaters” at New York’s Joseph Papp Public Theatre.
Harper graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and graduated with a J.D. (cum laude) from Harvard Law School, as well as with a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government. He is a full-time member of Boston’s Black Folk’s Theater Company, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected African-American traveling theater troupes. Harper’s Bazaar wrote, “You might expect Hill Harper to be the next actor vying for the presidency. but he has other things on his agenda”.