It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Is this also the same with wealth?
Is it better to never have had lots of money or better to have come from poverty and made millions only to lose them? The latter might be the most painful but educational route. It’s a classic rags to riches to rags tale.
Why am I babbling on incoherently about having or not having money?
Because I am here to discuss Mekhi Phifer’s net worth. If you know anything about the actor’s trials and tribulations with cash, you’ll already know it’s been a turbulent decade for Mekhi.
It’s common to go through financial difficulties at some point, no matter your status in life. But, it’s always how you bounce back from adversity that shows the true heart and spirit of a person.
Let’s take a look at the life and times of Mekhi Phifer, his current net worth, and find out what happened to him.
Mekhi Phifer Net Worth and Salary
…is currently listed as between $500,000 and $600,000. But, there was a time pre-2014 when Mekhi Phifer’s net worth was approximately $8 million until he encountered some financial difficulties.
He was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2014. By that time, he had lost the majority of the wealth that he made during his acting career. Mekhi is largely known for playing the role of Dr. Gregg Pratt in the American hit TV series ER on the NBC network.
Making money from acting roles…
The majority of Mekhi Phifer’s wealth before and after his bankruptcy came from acting roles. Although, he does diversify things a bit more these days. Because Mekhi Phifer’s acting career started back in the 1990s, he gradually built himself up over time. It wasn’t a flash-in-the-pan success.
He was never a lead actor but flourished in supporting roles. But, there is one problem with only problem with being a supporting actor. Unless you are starring in major Hollywood productions, you get the short end for the stick in terms of the pay scale.
True, Mekhi would’ve made a decent chunk starring alongside Eminem in 8 Mile and a few other mid-range movies. But, most of his $8 million net worth before bankruptcy came from the 135 episodes of ER that he starred in between 2002 and 2008.
How Did Mekhi Phifer Lose His Millions?
By 2014, Phifer had run into financial difficulties and had to file for bankruptcy. At the time, he had debts to the tune of around $1.3 million and only owned assets totaling $67,000.
The numbers showed that Phifer was earning only $7,500 per month at the time while having monthly expenses of around $11,600. Most of his debts were due to unpaid back taxes. Also, child support and legal bills cost him $4,500 and $50k, respectively.
He filed for bankruptcy on 22 April 2014. His $67k worth of personal assets in the bankruptcy documents included some hilarious items. A 12-year-old Segway worth $15k, a leather bed, two 9mm pistols, and a shotgun. It was all a stark difference to his prime earning years on ER. But, if you are paying out more than you make, it soon adds up and becomes an unmanageable issue.
How Does He Make Money in 2023?
Although Mekhi has starred in several movies and TV shows since his fall from grace, there has been nothing too substantial. But, in all honesty, he’s not done too badly. He had nothing by the end of 2014. So, by normal people’s standards, making over half a million in recent years is still great.
From 2017 to 2023, the Mekhi Phifer net worth number has grown from less than $200k to around $600k where it stands today. He has earned this money in recent years through acting roles, as well as collaborations with brands and endorsements. He has a deal with Full Tilt Poker and also owns a few Athlete’s Foot sneaker franchise stores in California called.
Phifer also makes some of his cash by performing as a speaker at live events, functions, fundraisers, and festivals. Social media has been another avenue to generate money. You can hire him to star in social media ad campaigns and other influencer-type roles for a relatively affordable fee.
What’s His Annual Salary in 2023?
Through these various revenue streams that Mekhi Phifer has created over the past few years, he rakes in a paltry annual salary. It’s nowhere near as much as you’d imagine from someone who has starred in good mid-level movie roles and numerous TV series.
It’s currently projected that Mekhi Phifer’s annual salary is around $40,000, which breaks down to around $3,000 per month. That’s a very average yearly salary. And, in all honesty, it’s a massive drop-off from the height of his acting career.
If you want to learn a valuable lesson from his mistakes, always make sure Uncle Sam gets his slice of the action. They can and will track you to the dark corners of the universe to get what’s theirs. You’ve got more chance of avoiding death than you have the taxman.
Early Life and Education
Mekhi Phifer was born in Harlem, New York City, on 29 December 1974. Harlem in the 1970s was a rough place to grow up, especially being born to a single parent. His mom, Rhoda, was a high school teacher but raised her son single-handedly.
She did her best to raise him right, and he even got a place in the high school where she taught. He started to love acting even at the tender age of 7 years old but focused on his education. Mekhi left high school at 18 years old in 1994 and immediately started to work on his fledgling acting career. However, he first enrolled in an electrical engineering program at the University of New York in the meantime.
Mekhi Phifer Career Overview
After leaving high school, Phifer attended an open casting for the movie Clockers by the famous African American director and filmmaker Spike Lee. He immediately impressed Lee at the audition and beat thousands of other actors for the role of Ronald ‘Strike’ Dunham. The Dunham character was a drug dealer caught up in a murder case cover-up. He received a wide range of plaudits for his efforts in the role.
Phifer starred in several comedy and horror movies between 1996 and 2002. Some of Mekhi Phifer’s most famous movie roles were in High School High (1996), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), and Paid In Full (2002).
During those same years, Phifer also appeared in several TV films and shows…
He starred in HBO’s Subway Stories: Tales from the Underground in 1997 and also in the TV movie The Tuskegee Airmen in 1995. One of his most prominent roles from that time is when he starred with Beyoncé in the very entertaining Carmen: A Hip Hopera in 2001.
From 1996 to 1998, Phifer played Nathanial Lee ‘Junior Break’ Mahoney in three episodes of NBC’s Homicide: Life On The Streets. It was a very productive time in the actor’s career just before it was about to blast off.
Making an impact on ER…
Mekhi Phifer’s career-defining role so far was in the NBC TV drama series ER. This primetime medical drama series ran from 19 September 1994 until its final episode on the 2nd of April 2009. It was the second-longest-running medical drama TV show in American history on primetime TV. It was second only to Grey’s Anatomy. ER had a phenomenal run and produced 331 episodes during its tenure.
Mekhi Phifer’s net worth would never have scaled $8 million by 2008 if he hadn’t joined the cast of ER. Phifer took on a recurring role in the show as Gregory Pratt in 2002 during Season 8. He appeared in seasons 9 to 14 and then as a special guest in season 15. His character was killed off in the final episode of season 14 (2008) in an accidental explosion.
It was a great run for a primetime TV show on American network television that made him a household name. His six years in the show cemented his reputation as a quality actor. He was even nominated for several awards for ER.
Supporting actor roles…
Phifer is best known as a supporting actor. In this role, he has appeared in 13 movies that grossed over $1.3 billion at the box office. One of his most famous supporting roles was playing the part of “Future” in Eminem’s critically acclaimed 8 Mile movie in 2002.
He’s played some bit part roles in numerous small-scale movies and TV shows since his bankruptcy in 2014. However, he has never reached the heights of his time in ER or reached the potential of what his early movie roles showcased.
Phifer has always managed to keep his personal life rather quiet. He married an actress named Malinda Williams in 1999, but the couple divorced in 2003. They have a son together named Omikaye.
He also has a kid with his ex-girlfriend, Ono Souratha, who was born in 2007. In 2013, he married his long-term girlfriend, Reshelet Barnes, at a Beverly Hills ceremony, and the couple are still believed to be together.
Real Estate & Assets
Because of Mekhi Phifer’s financial and bankruptcy issues, there is not much info out there about his current housing and real estate affairs. Since he lost all his money, he is not currently listed as owning a property.
However, before his issues, he owned a lavish mansion in the exclusive Woodland Hills area of California. There is limited information on if he still owns the property. But that is highly unlikely because of the million dollars he owed the IRS.
He does apparently own a Range Rover SUV and other luxury items, but since his bankruptcy, his assets have either evaporated or have been underreported. Phifer does not own any expensive jewelry and seems quite a stringent spender in this day and age. So, maybe he learned some lessons from losing his millions. It’s an expensive lesson to learn.
Want To Know What Other Celebrities Earn?
Also, you might like to know where famous people reside. So, take a look at our guides on the Biggest Celebrities Who Live in Miami, the Celebrities that live in The Hamptons, the Celebrities who live in Beverly Hills, the Celebrities that live in Nashville, and the 15 Biggest Celebrities who live in NYC in 2023.
Unfortunately, the net worth of Mekhi Phifer being around $600k when it was once $8 million might end up being a major part of his legacy. Sure, his six years in ER is what the majority of people know him for. To be fair, he has managed to rebuild his life, and half a million bucks is not something to scoff at.
At the time of writing, Phifer is due to appear in a couple of movies called The Supremes At Earl’s All You Can Eat and Lights Out. He’s still doing the rounds on network TV shows. And he was a reoccurring cast member from 2020 to 2022 in the Hulu streaming television series Love, Victor, playing the role of Harold Brooks.
It’s a shame that his career never reached the heights that were once promised. But not every NFL player makes the Hall of Fame. Sometimes you have to know your role. At the height of his acting career, Mekhi Phifer was a very accomplished supporting actor in movies and on primetime network television. So, his star may yet rise again.
Until next time, may you find your success story.
1 What was Mekhi Phifer’s first acting role?
Mekhi Phifer’s first acting role was in the movie “Clockers” which was directed by Spike Lee.
2 What is Mekhi Phifer’s most famous role?
Phifer is best known for his role as Dr. Greg Pratt in the medical drama series “ER.”
3 How much did Mekhi Phifer make for his role in “ER”?
Phifer’s exact salary for “ER” is unknown, but he reportedly made around $100,000 per episode.
4 What other TV shows has Mekhi Phifer been in?
In addition to “ER,” Phifer has also appeared in TV shows like “Torchwood,” “House of Lies,” and “Frequency.”
5 What movies has Mekhi Phifer been in?
Phifer has appeared in movies like “Soul Food,” “O,” “8 Mile,” “Divergent,” and “Pandemic.”
6 Does Mekhi Phifer have any children?
Yes, Phifer has three children, one with his current wife, Reshelet Barnes, and two from previous relationships.
7 What philanthropic causes has Mekhi Phifer supported?
Phifer has supported causes such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, education, and homelessness.
8 What is Mekhi Phifer’s net worth today?
As of 2021, Mekhi Phifer’s net worth is approximately $8 million.