Some people have more than one talent, and that is the case of Eriq La Salle, who is known not only for his portrayal of Peter Brenton in the well-known TV series “ER”, but also for being considered a spectacular director, producer and a writer. Where did he learn his acting skills? Does he have a wife?
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Early life and education
Erik Ki La Salle was born on July 23, 1962 in Hartford, Connecticut, USA, where he and his three siblings were raised by their mother, Ada Haynes, after his parents divorced. He attended Weaver High School and after graduating from high school became part of the interdisciplinary cultural institution in Hartford called Artists Collective, Inc, where he studied the art and culture of the African diaspora.
In 1980, he joined the Drama Division of the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City, remaining a member of Group 13 for two years. supposed to stay for four years, but the instructors didn’t think La Salle could overcome his downtown speech pattern, so they asked him to leave.
Eriq then enrolled at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Graduate Acting Program in 1984. During this time, he decided to make Eriq La Salle his professional name.
La Salle started out as a theater actor in New York – his first notable role was in Joseph Papp’s version of “Henry V”, played at the Shakespeare in the Park festival. This led to him being cast in several Off-Broadway and Broadway plays.
In 1985, he made his feature film debut appearing in the films “Rappin'” and “Cut and Run”. Just a year later, he was cast as a guest in several TV series such as ‘Spenser: For Hire’, ‘ABC Afterschool Specials’ and ‘One Life to Live’. He also portrayed Deputy Bernie Miles in the drama-thriller “Where Are the Children”.
The same happened in 1987, when he made cameo appearances in “Another World”, “Vietnam War Story”, “Mariah” and “Leg Work”, and appeared in the crime film “Five Corners”, opposite Jodie Foster and Todd Graff.
In 1988, he co-starred as Darryl Jenks in the movie “Coming to America” alongside Eddie Murphy. Prior to the early 1990s, La Salle also starred in the TV series “Knightwatch” and “Gideon Oliver,” as well as TV movies “When We Were Young” and “Magic Moments.”
In the early 1990s, he was cast in films such as “Jacob’s Ladder” and “Color of Night” where he acted alongside Bruce Willis, Jane March and Ruben Blades, and appeared in several TV series such as “LA Law”, “Quantum Leap”, “Under Suspicion” and “Screenplay”. During this time, he also played the recurring character Michael Stoven in the TV drama series “The Human Factor”, but it was canceled after the first season.
In 1994, he made his breakthrough when he joined the main cast of the most famous medical TV series “ER”; his portrayal of Peter Benton brought him worldwide fame, appearing in over 170 episodes and remaining on the show until its conclusion in 2009.
He won several awards for his contribution, most notably the Magnolia Stage Award in the Best Supporting Actor category in 1996, and (jointly) the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series during the years 1996-1999, and NAACP Image Awards for Best Actor in a Drama Series in 1999, 2000 and 2002.
In 1996, he appeared with James Earl Jones and Don Cheadle in the biographical film “Rebound: The Legend of Earl ‘The Goat’ Manigault”, and in 1999, he starred in “Mind Prey”, a TV adaptation of John Sandford’s novel of the same name. name about a detective trying to solve a kidnapping case.
La Salle co-starred with Robin Williams in the drama film “One Hour Photo” playing Detective James Van Der Zee. That same year, he directed “Crazy as Hell”, starring Michael Beach and Ronny Cox, and for his small acting role in this film, he won the 2003 Black Reel Award for Outstanding Independent Actor.
Also in 2003, he appeared in the crime TV series “The System”, playing Andrew Evans, and that same year, he appeared in an episode of “The Twilight Zone”. Two years later, in 2005, he starred in David Ogden’s thriller “Inside Out” and the following year in “Johnny Was”, playing Julius and co-starring with Vinnie Jones, Patrick Bergin and Laurence Kinlan.
— Chicago PD (@NBCChicagoPD) May 10, 2018
In 2010, La Salle appeared briefly in two episodes of “24”, playing the UN Secretary General. The following year, he was cast as Evan ‘E-Mo’ Morris in the TV series “A Gifted Man”, appearing in five episodes in the span of two years. He also portrayed Everton Thompson in the TV series “How to Make It in America”.
La Salle appeared in the 2012 TV series “Blackout”, playing George Lumas. In 2015, he played the character of Hektor Martin in several episodes of the sci-fi series “Under the Dome”, and the following year he guest-starred as Dr. Brainerd in the TV series “Angie Tribeca”. His last feature film appearance came in 2017, playing Will Munson in “Logan” alongside Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Dafne Keen.
Other career endeavors
In addition to being an actor, La Salle is also a director and producer; he directed episodes of several TV series, including Showtime’s “Soul Food: The Series”, “The Twilight Zone”, “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” – for which he was nominated in the NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Directing in a Drama series – and “CSI: NY”. He also directed an episode of the famous TV series “Lucifer” called “Wingman”. He was the writer and director of the short film “Psalms from the Underground” in 1996, but Mel Gibson later bought the rights.
La Salle is also a published writer – his first novel, “Laws of Depravity”, was published in 2012.
La Salle is the founder of the production company called “Humble Journey Films” in 1997.
His hobbies are billiards, table tennis and weightlifting.
La Salle likes to keep his private life private – unlike his business endeavors. It is unknown if he has dated anyone from the Hollywood scene. However, some rumours saying that he was in a relationship with a woman named Angela Johnson, and that the two were even engaged, but broke up after several years. As of May 2020, he is believed to be single.
He is quite active on various social media platforms including Twitter on which he has more than 40,000 followers.
Eriq La Salle makes a lot of money from his other career endeavors, but most of his fortune is from acting in TV series like “ER” – his three seasons salary for that work earned him an impressive $27 million! Because of all this, as of May 2020, his net worth is estimated to be around $25 million. He owned a mansion in Beverly Hills, California, USA, which was up for sale in 2019 for a price of $7.9 million!
La Salle is of African American descent. He is 1.87 m tall and weighs about 90 kg. He has an athletic build and takes good care of his body. His hair is short and black and his eyes are dark brown.