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S. Epatha Merkerson

CancerCare is honored to have celebrated actress and longtime CancerCare advocate, S. Epatha Merkerson, serving as host of this year’s Partnerships in Hope Annual Awards Dinner. Merkerson is best known for her role as NYPD Lieutenant Anita Van Buren on the long-running NBC drama series, Law & Order. Her character faced a cervical cancer diagnosis in the drama’s final season.

Merkerson’s screen credits include Radio, Black Snake Moan, Mother and Child and the television movie Lackawanna Blues, for which she won numerous acting awards including an Emmy, Golden Globe and NAACP Image Award. Merkerson made her television debut in 1987 as Reba the Mail Lady on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. Her extensive theatre work includes a Tony-nominated role in the 2008 Broadway revival of Come Back Little Sheba.

Merkerson recently completed her first film as producer and director, a documentary called The Contradictions of Fair Hope.

She is host of TV-One’s Find Our Missing, a reality-reenactment series which profiles missing people of color. She can be seen in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, the comedy We The Peeples with Kerry Washington and David Alan Greer to be released in May 2013 and Merkerson recently finished production on The Challenger with Michael Clark Duncan.

A native of Detroit, Michigan Merkerson received a BFA degree in Theatre from Wayne State University and holds two Honorary Doctorates: Wayne State University 2009, University of Maryland Eastern Shore 2011.

She lives in New York City.