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Epps, Omar

Omar Epps

1973–

Actor

Omar Epps' acting ability brought him fame, but his diversity of talent built his reputation. "There's been a buzz on Omar for a while. He has that star aura. It's an accepted notion in Hollywood that he's the next in line," Higher Learning director John Singleton told People Weekly in 1996. By 2006, Epps had become a well-known face on film and television. Omar Epps emerged in the early 1990s as a strong actor in less desirable projects. While making an impact in such powerful films as Juice and Higher Learning, he quickly landed starring roles and won a loyal fan base with such films as Love and Basketball and Against the Ropes. Epps earned great acclaim as well for his role as Dr. Eric Foreman on the television drama House M.D. More than an actor, Epps also sought musical, writing, and production opportunities for his creative impulses.

Nurtured Creativity as a Youth

Like many kids in Brooklyn, New York, Omar Epps' childhood was not picture perfect. His mother, a high school principal, raised him and his sister, Aisha Epps, alone. "I saw a lot at a very young age," he told Los Angeles Magazine in 1998, when they included him in a group of "new recruits"—up-and-coming actors and actresses under the age of thirty. "I remember giving clothes off my back to kids, seeing moms smoking crack. Growing up in a neighborhood like that, you don't have any hope, you don't plan for anything. You're just living to live." Apparently, his upbringing did not drag him down. He was writing mini-screenplays at age ten and went on to New York's High School of Performing Arts. "Watch, I'm going to be the first black president of the United States," he said in a 1999 interview with The Washington Times. "If Reagan can do it, I know I can."

Epps made his major film debut in 1992 starring in Juice, a story about a group of Harlem teens and a store robbery gone bad. Critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times credited the four principal actors for the film's strength, and highlighted Epps' portrayal of an aspiring DJ who gets muscled into participating in a hold-up. In 1993, he played a high school running back in the football drama The Program. In critics' minds, Epps' performance stood apart from the film itself. One critic called Epps "impressive," while calling the film "ambitious but flawed." Hal Hinson of The Washington Post paused in the midst of trashing the movie to note that "Omar Epps has real star presence—he's as much fun to watch with his helmet on as he is with it off." The young actor followed that up with Major League II, playing the character that the original actor Wesley Snipes wisely declined to revisit. The movie, widely considered to be a tired reworking of the 1989 comedy hit, bombed with critics and audiences alike.

Epps returned to dramatic roles in Higher Learning, which was released in 1995. In the film, Epps played a college student caught up in the racial tensions of a modern-day college campus. The movie by young director John Singleton won praise for its powerful portrayal of various culture and social clashes, but was ultimately determined to be too splintered to carry the ideological weight of the issues it raised. Epps' next film project was a small role in a parody that targeted ultra-serious ghetto movies, Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood. The film parodied the very same hopeless role that Epps had made memorable in Juice, to hilarious results.

From there, Epps took a couple starring roles in the television movies Deadly Voyage and First-Time Felon. In First-Time Felon-the true story of Greg Yance, a Chicago gang member who was sent to a military-style boot camp after a conviction on drug charges-Epps made a critical impression in the lead role. Chris Vognar, a critic for the Dallas Morning News, called Epps in a 1997 review "one of our most underrated screen actors," and stated that he brought "quiet power and dignity to a challenging role." Vognar felt that the film's story of Yance's transformation from thug into law-abiding citizen was "rushed," but that Epps' performance helped give the HBO production "a core substantial enough to make up for most shortcomings." Epps also appeared as the recurring character Dennis Gant on the Emmy award-winning television hospital drama ER from 1996 to 1997. His performance won him critical attention and more acting work.

Set High Expectations for Himself

Epps was never shy about his aspirations beyond acting. "I'm gonna do the triple-threat thing always—acting, writing, producing—use whatever weapons I have," he told Cosmopolitan in 1999. "50 years from now, I'll be sitting behind a desk, president of my own studio," he said in a People interview. At that point in 1996, in addition to the films he had already finished and his appearances on ER, he had directed music videos for rappers Special Ed and Heather B. "I've got a long way to go, but I'm looking to do it all," he told Los Angeles Magazine, "I want to be the next Ted Turner."

According to a Newsweek article, many young, black actors had found a niche in Hollywood in the early 1990s that, by the late 1990s, had gotten smaller. At the 71st annual Academy Awards, no African American was nominated for a major award. And although African Americans make up 25 percent of moviegoers, every black film released in 1998 foundered both commercially and critically. In spite of this apparent downturn for black actors, Epps worked on a steady flow of TV appearances, dramatic made-for-cable movies and commercially successful films. Often, Epps' performance in a film or TV movie would be the only quality about the production that critics found redeeming. "It's gotten a little better in the last few years for us getting the roles that make people take notice," Epps told Newsweek. "The rest of it is on us to make things happen." Epps found no reason to think success was not possible. "When Will Smith gets $20 million for a film, it's a good time to be black in Hollywood," he told Cosmopolitan.

Epps truly became a marquee actor in 1999 with four major motion pictures opening with him in starring roles. He co-starred in the film remake of the hip 1960s TV show, The Mod Squad, playing the part of Linc alongside Claire Danes and Giovanni Ribisi. The three play outlaws who pay their debts to society by going undercover for the Los Angeles Police Department. The film did not fare well with critics, with many echoing the opinion of critic Owen Gleiberman in Entertainment Weekly, who called the film "stylishly hollow." Recovering from the negative press, Epps moved on to The Wood, a lighthearted film about three childhood friends reliving the past on the eve of one of the friend's wedding. Epps played the role of the narrator in this cinematic glimpse of African American middle-class life in the 1980s. While some critics applauded a more "normal" portrayal of the average black teen—shifting away from the more-prevalent violent gang movies—others found little innovation in the "buddy-movie" genre. As always, critics distanced Epps from the faults of his film project with one San Francisco Chronicle writer lamenting "When will Epps … get a picture worthy of his obvious talent?"

Epps' next project, In Too Deep, failed to answer that question. The film had Epps in the role of an undercover cop trying to bring down a criminal organization run by the character played by L.L. Cool J, but lacked emotional depth. Both Epps and Cool J were lauded for their gritty performances but Mike LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle complained, "the script doesn't give [Epps] many specifics to work with." Epps' last project of 1999, Breakfast of Champions, a comedy also starring Bruce Willis and Nick Nolte, brought Kurt Vonnegut's novel of the same title to the big screen.

At a Glance …

Born Omar Hashim Epps on July 23, 1973, in Brooklyn, NY; married Keisha Spivey, 2004; children: Aiyanna Yasmeen and K'mari Mae.

Career: Actor, 1990s–; Wolfpack rap group, member, 1991–; The Label, music company, founder; BYNYC, film and music production company, founder.

Broadened His Horizons

Also in 1999, Epps started broadening his horizons even more, starting an independent record label called The Label, and making plans to release a rap album with his duo Wolf Pack called The Birth. Comparing his musical aspirations to his acting, he told The Washington Times: "I've been doing music for like nine, ten years. It's not someone else's words I'm delivering, there's not a director's version that's not edited, it's me. This is what I come home and do each day." It all started with writing, Epps told The Washington Times, "because I was a writer since I was eight-poetry, plays, screenplays, love letters, music, whatever. Being a writer, acting came from just trying to emote off of the paper, and once I found a stage, that was it."

In the early 2000s, Epps' Hollywood star rose higher. While he took on a variety of characters, his fame grew on more sports-related roles; he flourished in his ability to portray athletes realistically. Epps starred as a young basketball player in Love and Basketball, a love story following a teenage boy and girl as they struggled toward their goals to become professional basketball players and discovered their love of the game and each other; and a boxer in Against the Ropes in 2004. His role in Against the Ropes "jumped off the page" at him, as he told Marc Warren of the Baltimore Afro American. In the film, he portrayed a young man whose life is turned around when a female boxing promoter puts him in the ring. For his athletic roles, Epps trained vigorously, developing skills and shaping his body characteristics to fit the parts.

Yet, Epps did not wish to limit his horizons to sports films. "I want to play everything under the sun," Epps told Warren. He won parts as a gangster in Brother, FBI agent in Big Trouble, and an urban hipster in the remake of Alfie, among others. His stint on ER resonated and he won a spot on the Fox channel's medical drama House M.D. in 2004. Epps played an ambitious neurologist on the show. The dramatic role enabled him to showcase the depth of his talent, especially in the final episodes of 2006 in which his character, Dr. Foreman, is stricken by a deadly disease.

While he continued his acting, Epps sought other avenues for his creative aspirations. To that aim, he formed a production company—BKNYC—to create movies and music. "That's the best way for any actor, whether you're white, Asian, Latin, black—you have to create your own vehicles—what's out there isn't meeting the needs of your ambition, you have to do it yourself," he told George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal. Epps found a variety of different outlets for his creativity, writing and recording music, writing and producing films, and of course, acting. But as Epps' profile rose in the entertainment industry, he left his political dreams behind. Recalling his early dreams of becoming the first black president of the United States, Epps told Diana Saenger of Reel Talk Reviews, "For me, my political aspirations are probably dead, but it's something I share with people to let them know to dream big and have no limits. Imagination is the thing that keeps us sane." Certainly Epps seemed keen to continue using his imagination to entertain.

Selected works

Selected films

In the Shadow of Love: A Teen AIDS Story, 1991.
Juice, 1992.
Daybreak, 1993.
The Program, 1993.
Major League II, 1994.
Higher Learning, 1995.
Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, 1996.
Deadly Voyage, 1996.
First-Time Felon, 1997.
Scream 2, 1997.
In Too Deep, 1999.
The Wood, 1999.
Breakfast of Champions, 1999.
The Mod Squad, 1999.
Love and Basketball, 2000.
Brother, 2000.
Against the Ropes, 2004.

Television

ER, 1996–97.
House M.D., 2004–.

Sources

Periodicals

Akron Beacon Journal, February 26, 2004.

Chicago Sun-Times, January 17, 1992.

Cosmopolitan, April 1999, p. 55.

Dallas Morning News, September 6, 1997, p. 4C.

Entertainment Weekly, April 2, 1999, p. 66.

In Style, April 1, 1999, p. 192.

Jet, September 15, 1997, p. 57.

Los Angeles Magazine, November 1998, p. 86.

Muscle and Fitness, March 2004, p. 27.

Newsweek, April 5, 1999, p. 66.

People Weekly, November 18, 1996, p. 100.

San Francisco Chronicle, August 25, 1999, p. C1.

Washington Post, September 24, 1993.

Washington Times, April 2, 1999, p. C16.

On-line

"Omar Epps: A Reel Contender," Reel Talk Reviews, http://www.reeltalkreviews.com/browse/viewitem.asp?type=feature&id=96 (January 2, 2007).

Other

Interview, Tavis Smiley Show, PBS, April 22, 2005; transcript available online at www.pbs.org/kcet/tavissmiley/archive/200504/20050422_transcript.html (January 2, 2007).

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Epps, Omar 1973- (Omar Hashim Epps)

Epps, Omar 1973- (Omar Hashim Epps)

PERSONAL

Born July 20, 1973, in Brooklyn, NY; son of Bonnie Epps (a school principal); former companion of Yusra Salama (a journalist); companion of Keisha Spivey (a singer); children: (with Salama) Aiyanna Yasmine; (with Spivey) K'mari Mae. Education: Attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music, Art, and the Performing Arts, New York City. Avocational Interests: Writing.

Addresses:

Manager—Raelle Koota, Anonymous Content, 3532 Hayden Ave., Culver City, CA 90232. Publicist—Ruth Bernstein, Baker/Wynokur/Ryder, 405 South Beverly Dr., 5th Floor, Beverly Hills, CA 90212.

Career:

Actor, singer, and composer. Cofounder of the rap music group Wolf Pack, 1991; founder of the record label "The Label," 1999; performed as backup dancer for Queen Latifah.

Awards, Honors:

Teen Choice Award nominations, choice film actor and choice film chemistry (with Sanaa Lathan), both 2000, Image Award nomination, outstanding actor in a motion picture, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Black Reel Award nomination, best theatrical actor, and MTV Movie Award nomination, best male performance, all 2001, all for Love & Basketball; Image Award nomination, outstanding actor in a television movie, miniseries, or dramatic special, 2003, for Conviction; Image Award nomination, outstanding supporting actor in a television drama series, 2005, Image Award nomination, outstanding actor in a drama series, 2006, and Image Award, outstanding supporting actor in a drama series, 2007, all for House M.D.

CREDITS

Film Appearances:

Charlie, The Green Flash, 1989.

Quincy (Q), Juice (also known as Angel Town 2), Paramount, 1992.

Darnell Jefferson, The Program, Buena Vista, 1993.

Willie Mays Hayes, Major League II, Warner Bros., 1994.

Malik Williams, Higher Learning, Izaro Films, 1995.

Malik, Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood (also known as Don't Be a Menace), Miramax, 1996.

Phil Stevens, Scream 2, Miramax, 1997.

Wayne Hoobler, Breakfast of Champions, Walt Disney, 1999.

Lincoln "Linc" Hayes, The Mod Squad, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1999.

Mike, The Wood, Paramount, 1999.

Jeff Cole/J. Reid, In Too Deep, Miramax, 1999.

Quincy McCall, Love & Basketball, New Line Cinema, 2000.

Denny, Brother, Sony Pictures Classics, 2000.

Marcus, Dracula 2000 (also known as Dracula 2001 and Wes Craven Presents "Dracula 2000"), Miramax, 2000.

J. B., Perfume (also known as Dress to Kill), Lions Gate Films, 2001.

FBI Agent Alan Seitz, Big Trouble, Buena Vista, 2001.

Luther Shaw, Against the Ropes (also known as The Promoter and Die promoterin), Paramount, 2004.

Marlon, Alfie, Paramount, 2004.

(In archive footage) Tupac: Resurrection (documentary), Paramount, 2004.

Television Appearances; Series:

Dr. Dennis Gant, a recurring role, ER, NBC, 19960-97.

Dr. Eric Foreman, House M.D. (also known as House), Fox, 2004-2007.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Hunter, Daybreak (also known as Bloodstream), HBO, 1993.

Kinglsey Ofusu, Deadly Voyage, HBO, 1996.

Greg Yance, First-Time Felon, HBO, 1997.

Carl Upchurch, Conviction, Showtime, 2002.

Television Appearances; Specials:

(As Omar Hashim Epps) Deron, "In the Shadow of Love: A Teen AIDS Story," ABC Afterschool Special, ABC, 1991.

Assignment E! with Leeza Gibbons: The Hollywood Pressure Cooker, E! Entertainment Television, 2000.

Scenes by the Sea: Takeshi Kitano, Channel 4, 2000.

Presenter, Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year 2000, CBS, 2000.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Curtis Freeman, "Lovers and Other Dangers," Here and Now, NBC, 1992.

Clint, "Black or Blue," Street Justice, 1993.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

The 1999 MTV Movie Awards, MTV, 1999.

Essence Awards 2000, Fox, 2000.

Presenter, The 2001 IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards, Independent Film Channel, 2001.

The 32nd NAACP Image Awards, Fox, 2001.

The 34th NAACP Image Awards, Fox, 2003.

Presenter, The 2003 Espy Awards, ESPN, 2003.

Presenter, The 2004 Billboard Music Awards, Fox, 2004.

Television Guest Appearances; Episodic:

The Rosie O'Donnell Show, syndicated, 1999, 2000.

Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, 2000, 2004, 2006.

Last Call with Carson Daly, NBC, 2004.

Live with Regis and Kelly, syndicated, 2004, 2005.

Jimmy Kimmel Live, ABC, 2005.

Tavis Smiley, PBS, 2005.

Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show, syndicated, 2005.

The Megan Mullally Show, syndicated, 2006.

Television Appearances; Other:

Dr. Eric Foreman, House M.D. (pilot; also known as House), Fox, 2004.

Himself, House Unplugged, 2006.

RECORDINGS

Videos:

Behind the "Scream," Dimension Home Video, 2000.

"Sentimental" segment, MTV 20: Jams, Image Entertainment, 2001.

Voice of O. E., Def Jam Fights for NY (video game), Electronic Arts, 2004.

Appeared in the music Video "Sentimental" by Deborah Cox, 1995. Director of music videos for Special Ed and Heather B.

Albums:

Albums with Wolf Pack include The Birth.

WRITINGS

Television Music; Series:

(With Marlon Wayans and Shawn Wayans) Composer of main title theme music, The Wayans Bros., The WB, 1997-99.

OTHER SOURCES

Books:

Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 23, Gale, 1999.

Newsmakers 2000, Gale, 2000.

Periodicals:

Interview, June, 2000, p. 46.

Movieline, July, 2001, p. 22.

People Weekly, November 18, 1996, p. 100.

Teen People, May, 2000, p. 130.

TV Guide, November 28, 2005, pp. 22-23.

USA Weekend, April 21, 2000, p. 10.

Vanity Fair, April, 1999.

Young Miss, April, 1999.

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"Epps, Omar 1973- (Omar Hashim Epps)." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Epps, Omar 1973- (Omar Hashim Epps)." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/epps-omar-1973-omar-hashim-epps

Epps, Omar 1973–

Omar Epps 1973

Actor

Made Major Film Debut

Triple-Threat Talent

Became a Marquee Actor

Selected filmography

Sources

Theres been a buzz on Omar for a while. He has that star aura. Its an accepted notion in Hollywood that hes the next in line, Higher Learning director John Singleton told People Weekly in 1996. Omar Epps emerged in the early 1990s as a strong actor in less desirable projects. While making an impact in such powerful films as Juice and Higher Learning, he is versatile enough to shine in light comedies such as The Wood, and critics have seen past the flaws in his films to the underlying talent that has set him on the fast track to stardom.

Like many kids in Brooklyn, New York, Omar Epps childhood was not picture perfect. His mother, a high school principal, raised him and his sister, Aisha Epps, alone. I saw a lot at a very young age, he told Los Angeles Magazine in 1998, when they included him in a group of new recruits -up-and-coming actors and actresses under the age of thirty. I remember giving clothes off my back to kids, seeing moms smoking crack. Growing up in a neighborhood like that, you dont have any hope, you dont plan for anything. Youre just living to live. Apparently, his upbringing did not drag him down. He was writing mini-screenplays at age ten and went on to New Yorks High School of Performing Arts. Watch, Im going to be the first black president of the United States, he said in a 1999 interview with The Washington Times. If Reagan can do it, I know I can.

Made Major Film Debut

Epps made his major film debut in 1992 starring in Juice, a story about a group of Harlem teens and a store robbery gone bad. Critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times credited the four principal actors for the films strength, and highlighted Epps portrayal of an aspiring DJ who gets muscled into participating in a hold-up. In 1993, he played a high school running back in the football drama The Program. In critics minds, Epps performance stood apart from the film itself. One critic called Epps impressive, while calling the film ambitious but flawed. Hal Hinson of The Washington Post paused in the midst of trashing the movie to note that Omar Epps has real star presence-hes as much fun to watch with his helmet on as he is with it off. The young actor followed that up with Major League II, playing the character that the original actor Wesley Snipes wisely declined to

At a Glance

Born Omar Hashim Epps in Brooklyn, NY, 1973; married to Yusra Salama, 1993.

Career; Actor, Appeared in the films In the Shadow of love ; A Teen AIDS Story, 1991; Juice, 1992; Daybreak, 1993; The Program, 1993; Major League II, 1994; Higher Learning, 1995; Dont Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, 1996; Deadly Voyage, 1996; First-Time Felon, 1997; Scream 2, 1997; In Too Deep, 1999; The Wood, 1999; Break-fast of Champions, 1999; and The Mod Squad, 1999.

Addresses: Publicist Leslie Sloan, Baker Winokur Ryder Public Relations, 250 W. 57th St. # 1610, New York, NY 10107.

revisit. The movie, widely considered to be a tired reworking of the 1989 comedy hit, bombed with critics and audiences alike.

Epps returned to dramatic roles in Higher Learning, which was released in 1995. In the film, Epps played a college student caught up in the racial tensions of a modern-day college campus. The movie by young director John Singleton won praise for its powerful portrayal of various culture and social clashes, but was ultimately determined to be too splintered to carry the ideological weight of the issues it raised. Epps next film project was a small role in a parody that targeted ultra-serious ghetto movies, Dont Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood. The film parodied the very same hopeless role that Epps had made memorable in Juice, to hilarious results.

From there, Epps took a couple starring roles in the television movies Deadly Voyage and First-Time Felon. In First-Time Felon the true story of Greg Yance, a Chicago gang member who was sent to a military-style boot camp after a conviction on drug charges-Epps made a critical impression in the lead role. Chris Vognar, a critic for the Dallas Morning News, called Epps in a 1997 review one of our most underrated screen actors, and stated that he brought quiet power and dignity to a challenging role. Vognar felt that the films story of Vances transformation from thug into lawabiding citizen was rushed, but that Epps performance helped give the HBO production a core substantial enough to make up for most shortcomings. Epps also appeared as the character Dennis Gant on the Emmy award-winning television hospital drama ER from 1996 to 1997.

Triple-Threat Talent

Epps was never shy about his aspirations beyond acting. Im gonna do the triple-threat thing always-acting, writing, producinguse whatever weapons I have, he told Cosmopolitan in 1999. 50 years from now, Ill be sitting behind a desk, president of my own studio, he said in a People interview. At that point in 1996, in addition to the films he had already finished and his appearances on ER, he had directed music videos for rappers Special Ed and Heather B. Ive got a long way to go, but Im looking to do it all, he told Los Angeles Magazine, I want to be the next Ted Turner.

According to a Newsweek article, many young, black actors had found a niche in Hollywood in the early 1990s that, by the late 1990s, had gotten smaller. At the 71st annual Academy Awards, no African American was nominated for a major award. And although African Americans make up 25 percent of moviegoers, every black film released in 1998 foundered both commercially and critically. In spite of this apparent downturn for black actors, Epps worked on a steady flow of TV appearances, dramatic made-for-cable movies and commercially-successful films. Often, Epps performance in a film or TV movie would be the only quality about the production that critics found redeeming. Its gotten a little better in the last few years for us getting the roles that make people take notice, Epps told Newsweek. The rest of it is on us to make things happen. Epps found no reason to think success was not possible. When Will Smith gets $20 million for a film, its a good time to be black in Hollywood, he told Cosmopolitan.

Became a Marquee Actor

Epps truly became a marquee actor in 1999 with four major motion pictures opening with him in starring roles. He co-starred in the film remake of the hip 1960s TV show, The Mod Squad, playing the part of Line along-side Claire Danes and Giovanni Ribisi. The three play outlaws who pay their debts to society by going under cover for the Los Angeles Police Department. The film did not fare well with critics, with many echoing the opinion of critic Owen Gleiberman in Entertainment Weekly, who called the film stylishly hollow. Recovering from the negative press, Epps moved on to The Wood, a lighthearted film about three childhood friends reliving the past on the eve of one of the friends wedding. Epps played the role of the narrator in this cinematic glimpse of African American middle-class life in the 1980s. While some critics applauded a more normal portrayal of the average black teen-shifting away from the more-prevalent violent gang movies others found little innovation in the buddy-movie genre. As always, critics distanced Epps from the faults of his film project with one San Francisco Chronicle writer lamenting When will Eppsget a picture worthy of his obvious talent?

Epps next project, In Too Deep, failed to answer that question. The film had Epps in the role of an undercover cop trying to bring down a criminal organization run by the character played by L.L. Cool J. but lacked emotional depth. Both Epps and Cool J were lauded for their gritty performances but Mike LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle complained, the script doesnt give [Epps] many specifics to work with. Epps last project of 1999, Breakfast of Champions, a comedy also starring Bruce Willis and Nick Nolte, brought Kurt Vonneguts novel of the same title to the big screen.

Also in 1999, Epps started broadening his horizons even more, starting an independent record label called The Label, and making plans to release a rap album with his duo Wolf Pack called The Birth. Comparing his musical aspirations to his acting, he told The Washington Times: Ive been doing music for like nine, ten years. Its not someone elses words Im delivering, theres not a directors version thats not edited, its me. This is what I come home and do each day. It all started with writing, Epps told The Washington Times, because I was a writer since I was eight-poetry, plays, screenplays, love letters, music, whatever. Being a writer, acting came from just trying to emote off of the paper, and once I found a stage, that was it. As a critically-acclaimed leading man on the rise, Epps seems poised to succeed in whatever field he chooses.

Selected filmography

In the Shadow of Love: A Teen AIDS Story, 1991.

Juice, 1992.

Daybreak, 1993.

The Program, 1993.

Major League II, 1994.

Higher Learning, 1995.

Dont Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, 1996.

Deadly Voyage, 1996.

First-Time Felon, 1997.

Scream 2, 1997.

In Too Deep, 1999.

The Wood, 1999.

Breakfast of Champions, 1999.

The Mod Squad, 1999.

Sources

Periodicals

Chicago Sun-Times, January 17, 1992.

Cosmopolitan, April 1999, p. 55.

Dallas Morning News, September 6, 1997, p. 4C.

Entertainment Weekly, April 2, 1999, p. 66.

In Style, April 1, 1999, p. 192.

Jet, September 15, 1997, p. 57.

Los Angeles Magazine, November 1998, p. 86.

Newsweek, April 5, 1999, p. 66.

People Weekly, November 18, 1996, p. 100.

San Francisco Chronicle, August 25, 1999, p. C1.

Washington Post, September 24, 1993.

Washington Times, April 2, 1999, p. C16.

Other

Additional information for this profile was obtained from the Internet Movie Database, http://www.imdb.com (August 15, 1999); E! Online, http://eonline.com/facts/people/bio (August 15, 1999); Raygun Magazine, http://raygun.com (August 15, 1999); Geocities, http://www.geocities.com (August 15, 1999); Astrophile, http://www.astrophile.com (August 15, 1999); Asylum, http://asylum.aol.com (August 15, 1999); and Sidewalk, http://denver.sidewalk.com (August 15, 1999).

Brenna Sanchez

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"Epps, Omar 1973–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Epps, Omar 1973–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/epps-omar-1973

"Epps, Omar 1973–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/epps-omar-1973