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Michael Michele

Michael Michele

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Also Known As: Michael Michele Williams Died:
Born: August 30, 1966 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Evansville, Indiana, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Actress Michael Michele excelled in roles that belied her beauty and poise, frequently finding herself cast as strong-willed attorneys, doctors and police detectives. Michele initially garnered notoriety in director-star Mario Van Peebles' gritty blaxploitation movie "New Jack City" (1991). From there, it was on to a brief starring role on the adventure series "Dangerous Curves" (CBS, 1992-93) and a recurring character throughout the first season of the urban crime drama, "New York Undercover" (Fox, 1994-98). Demonstrating an aptitude for playing professional women in the public service sector, Michele took on roles on two of the most acclaimed programs of the day - first, as Det. Rene Sheppard on "Homicide: Life on the Street" (NBC, 1993-99), followed by three seasons as Dr. Cleo Finch on "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009). With the increased recognition came more parts in feature films, most notably as Veronica Porsche Ali, former wife of "The Greatest" opposite Will Smith in director Michael Mann's biopic, "Ali" (2001). Other film appearances included supporting work in the grim L.A. cop-drama "Dark Blue" (2002) and the romantic-comedy "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" (2003). The actress was also seen on the...

Actress Michael Michele excelled in roles that belied her beauty and poise, frequently finding herself cast as strong-willed attorneys, doctors and police detectives. Michele initially garnered notoriety in director-star Mario Van Peebles' gritty blaxploitation movie "New Jack City" (1991). From there, it was on to a brief starring role on the adventure series "Dangerous Curves" (CBS, 1992-93) and a recurring character throughout the first season of the urban crime drama, "New York Undercover" (Fox, 1994-98). Demonstrating an aptitude for playing professional women in the public service sector, Michele took on roles on two of the most acclaimed programs of the day - first, as Det. Rene Sheppard on "Homicide: Life on the Street" (NBC, 1993-99), followed by three seasons as Dr. Cleo Finch on "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009). With the increased recognition came more parts in feature films, most notably as Veronica Porsche Ali, former wife of "The Greatest" opposite Will Smith in director Michael Mann's biopic, "Ali" (2001). Other film appearances included supporting work in the grim L.A. cop-drama "Dark Blue" (2002) and the romantic-comedy "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" (2003). The actress was also seen on the short-lived legal-drama "Kevin Hill" (UPN, 2004-05), followed by several recurring appearances on such series as "Gossip Girl" (The CW, 2007- ) in 2011. Michele ably projected inner-resolve and mental toughness to each of her deceptively attractive characters.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
3.
 Dark Blue (2003) Beth Williamson
4.
 Ali (2001) Veronica Porsche
5.
 Homicide: The Movie (2000) Detective Rene Sheppard
6.
8.
 Sixth Man, The (1997) R C St John
9.
 New Jack City (1991) Selina
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Made appearances in TV commercials for such products as Revlon, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Old Spice
:
Appeared in music videos starring Freddie Jackson
:
Offered a role in Eddie Murphy's film Harlem Nights (1989); role was dissolved when she spurned his advances and she filed a sexual harassment suit against him; suit was ultimately settled out of court
1991:
Played gangster moll in "New Jack City"
1992:
TV debut as a regular in the CBS series "Dangerous Curves"
1993:
Starred in the NBC miniseries "Trade Winds"
1994:
Played recurring role of a lawyer romanced by a detective (Malik Yoba) in the Fox drama "New York Undercover"
1995:
Was art gallery owner Nikki Sheridan on "Central Park West/CPW" (CBS)
1997:
Had leading role in "The Sixth Man"
1998:
Joined the cast of NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Street" as Detective Rene Sheppard for the final season
1999:
Joined the cast of the NBC medical drama "ER" as Dr. Cleo Finch
2000:
Reprised role of Det. Sheppard in "Homicide: The Movie" (NBC)
2001:
Cast as the fighter's wife Veronica in the biopic "Ali", about boxer Muhammed Ali
2003:
Appeared in "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days"
2003:
Played a dedicated Los Angeles police officer in the gritty cop drama "Dark Blue"
2004:
Had a starring role in the short-lived UPN television series "Kevin Hill"
2007:
Guest-starred on an episode of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," directed by her previous "ER" co-star Eric La Salle
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Howard Roosa Elementary School: Evansville , Indiana -

Notes

Michele was named after a woman--her mother's best friend, who was named Michael Ann.

"I come from a family that is not entertainment oriented--my mother works in pharmaceuticals, my father is a businessman, my sister works in banking and finance--but it was a dream and I spent a lot of time going to the theatre. I used to sneak into the Negro Ensemble Theatre and put my name on the audition list thinking, I want to be part of these stage productions." --Michael Michele in VENICE, April 1997

"As an African American woman your opportunities are so slim that you really struggle to find good roles. So when you're offered a role on a primetime series, do you turn it down because you know you'll struggle against just being an extension of the boyfriend? No, you don't. You get into the trenches and you make it work." --Michael Michele

"I was delighted to hire her. When she came in and first read for Veronica, she was able to hit that in-between 'not performance' part. She's a very authentic actress." -Director Michael Mann (Ali)

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Jimmy Rodriguez. Restaurateur.

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