Harper was born in Iowa City, Iowa, the son of Harry Harper, a psychiatrist, and Marilyn Harper (née Hill), who was one of the first black practicing anesthesiologists in the United States. He has been acting since the age of 7. Harper graduated from Bella Vista High School in 1984. He then graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 1988. In 1992, Harper graduated with a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School. In addition, he also received his Master of Public Administration degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. During his years at Harvard, he was a full-time member of Boston's Black Folks Theater Company, one of the oldest and most acclaimed black theater troupes in the country. While a student at Harvard, Harper befriended Barack Obama. Harper and Obama met on the basketball court and became good friends. Although Harper earned three Ivy League degrees, he decided to pursue acting and moved to Los Angeles. He has received several honorary degrees, including honorary doctorates from both Westfield State College and Howard University. Born Francis Eugene Harper, he adopted the name "Hill" as a tribute to both his maternal and paternal ancestors.
Harper's first roles in television began in 1993, in a recurring role on the Fox series Married... with Children, while also making his film debut in the short film Confessions of a Dog. He had his first acting role in a feature film with Spike Lee's Get on the Bus (1996), which cast him as a UCLA film student riding a bus to the Million Man March in Washington, D.C. He went on to further demonstrate his versatility in such films as Christopher Scott Cherot's Hav Plenty (1997) and Lee's He Got Game (1998), the former of which featured him as an egotistical pop-soul singer. His profile subsequently rose on both the mainstream and independent film circuits, thanks to roles in films ranging from Beloved (1998) to the independent romantic comedy Loving Jezebel (1999) to The Skulls (2000). Harper did some of his most acclaimed work in Jordan Walker-Pearlman's The Visit (2000), an independent drama in which he starred as a prisoner dying of AIDS who tries to put his life back together. Harper played coroner-turned-crime scene investigator Sheldon Hawkes on the CBS crime drama CSI: NY for nine seasons. He also portrayed Leshem in the 2010 Syfy original movie Stonehenge Apocalypse. In February 2013, it was announced that CSI: NY would be ending and Harper would be joining the cast of Covert Affairs as a series regular. From April 21, 2015, to May 10, 2015, Harper starred as "Hard Rock" in the Off-Broadway play ToasT. The play (produced by Lemon Andersen and co-starred Keith David) was set in the Attica Prison around the time of its 1971 prison riot and told of the lives of its prisoners using poetic prose. Hill Harper’s acting career also includes voice-over work (or voice acting) with Breathe Bible.
- ↑ http://www.tvguide.com/celebrities/hill-harper/153867
- ↑ http://www.manifestyourdestiny.org/HillHarper/bio
- ↑ http://www.thehawkeye.com/Story/vote_obama_121507
- ↑ http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/27341814/ns/today-today_on_the_trail/
- ↑ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/8-things-you-didnt-know-about-actor-hill-harper_us_5761b704e4b02081542fae6c
- ↑ https://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9C02EEDF1F3FF936A25751C1A9669C8B63
- ↑ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/csi-nys-hill-harper-covert-423425
- ↑ http://breathebible.com/voices/hill-harper/