S. Epatha Merkerson Net Worth

Net Worth:$12 Million
Date of Birth: November 28, 1952 (71 years old)
Height:5 ft 5 in (1.67 m)
Nationality:United States of America

What is S. Epatha Merkerson’s Net Worth and Salary?

S. Epatha Merkerson is an American actress who has a net worth of $12 million. On NBC’s “Law & Order” she became well-recognized for her longstanding role as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren. Also, from 1993 to 2010, she made an appearance in over 395 episodes of the franchise (including guest appearances in sister shows).

Merkerson was the longest-running African-American character on television for a long time. When Ice T accomplished the accomplishment on “Law & Order: SVU,” he broke the previous record.

Merkerson Since leaving “Law & Order” in 2010, she has continued to feature in a huge range of film, television, and theatrical ventures. She has received many honors, including four NAACP Image Awards, a SAG Award, a Golden Globe, an Emmy, and a Golden Globe. She has also received two Tony Award nominations.

She started appearing in the main cast of the “Chicago” series of shows in 2015. (Fire, Med, P.D.). She’s Gotta Have It, Jacob’s Ladder, Lackawant to Blues, Lincoln, and Year by the Sea are just a few of the movies in which Merkerson has acted.


In Saginaw, Michigan, Sharon Epatha Merkerson was delivered on the 28th of November 1952 and was later brought up in Detroit. Raised by a single mother who serves as a post office worker alongside four older siblings: Zephry, Barrie, Linda, and Debbie.

Intellectual Attainement

Merkerson was learned at Cooley High School and later graduated in 1970. She however obtained a BFA degree in theatre art from Wayne State University and went further to New York University where she bagged an MFA degree later in 1978.

Television Career

When “Pee-Playhouse” wee’s debuted on CBS on a Saturday morning in 1986, Merkerson made her acting debut as Reba the Mail Lady. Up until 1989, she remained a cast member.

Merkerson then had her first appearance on “Law & Order,” portraying the bereaved mother of a murdered baby, and she also made a cameo in the pilot episode of “Equal Justice.” She starred in two brief NBC shows in 1992: the sitcom “Here and Now” and the science fiction police drama “Mann & Machine.”

Next year, when she joined “Law & Order” for its fourth season, Merkerson received her most significant part. She was chosen to take Dann Florek’s place as the detective squad chief after her prior guest appearance on the show impressed the producers greatly.

Through 2010, when “Law & Order” was canceled, Merkerson continued to portray Lieutenant Anita Van Buren for 17 seasons. She was nominated for numerous NAACP Image Awards and SAG Awards for her work, and she ultimately won three of them.

While “Law & Order” was airing, Merkerson had a lot of other roles. She made cameos in the 1990s television movies “A Place for Annie” and “A Mother’s Prayer.” As boarding house matron Rachel “Nanny” Crosby in the HBO television movie “Lackawant to Blues,” based on the play of the same name, she delivered one of her most lauded performances.

Golden Globe, Emmy, SAG, and NAACP Image Award winners Merkerson received numerous honors for her work.

Acting Career

In the one-woman piece “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” in which she portrayed well-known singer Billie Holiday, Merkerson made her breakthrough on stage in the early months of 1987.

She then played Berniece in August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize–winning play “The Piano Lesson,” which had its world premiere on Broadway. For her work, Merkerson was nominated for a Tony Award.

Merkerson continued to get praise for her performance in “I’m Not Stupid” and “Birdie Blue,” winning two Obie Awards in the process. The Old Settler, F**king A, While I Yet Live, and “Come Back, Little Sheba,” for which she received her second Tony nomination, are some of the other theater productions she has worked on.

Movie Career

Merkerson made her film debut in Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It” in 1986, the same year she had her TV debut.

She didn’t make a comeback to the big screen until 1990 when she starred in three movies: the military action movie “Navy SEALS,” the psychological horror movie “Jacob’s Ladder,” and the action comedy “Loose Cannons.”

Later, Merkerson portrayed Tarissa Dyson in the hugely popular science fiction action sequel “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” by James Cameron.

Merkerson appeared in supporting roles in “The Rising Place,” “Radio,” and “Jersey Girl” in the early 2000s.

In subsequent movies like “Black Snake Moan,” “Slipstream,” “The Six Wives of Henry Lefay,” and “Mother and Child,” she continued to play supporting characters.

Private Life

Merkerson was wedded to Toussaint Jones Jr. from 1994 until their divorce in 2006. No children were ever born to the couple.

When Merkerson appeared on Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s genealogy television program “Finding Your Roots,” she discovered that she is a descendant of Isaac Hawkins and eight other enslaved individuals who were sold at the 1838 Jesuit slave auction.

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