Who is Derek Luke?
Derek Luke is an American actor, popularly known for his portrayal of Antwone "Fish" Fisher in his big-screen debut film ‘Antwone Fisher’. His father was a former actor, and mother is a musician. During his childhood, which he states were difficult days, he constantly believed in the power of words. Derek Luke had to struggle for a long period before finding work in the acting industry. He is best known for his roles in feature films, such as ‘Antwone Fisher’, ‘Glory Road’, ‘Friday Night Lights’ and ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’. His acting prowess has earned him prestigious awards like the Independent Spirit Award and Stanley Kramer Award. Apart from feature films, he has been actively involved in television and acted in several music videos as well. Some of his notable works in television include ‘Rogue’ and ‘Empire’. He has had the unique opportunity of portraying several real life characters on screen while they were still alive. Some of them were ‘Boobie Miles’ in ‘Friday Night Lights’ and ‘Sean Combs’ in ‘Notorious’. He is extremely popular on social networking sites like Instagram and twitter. He attributes his success in his acting career to his fearlessness.
Childhood & Early Life
Derek Luke was born on 24 April 1974 at Jersey City in New Jersey. He was the son of former actor Maurice Luke from Guyana and pianist Marjorie Dixon.
His parents divorced when he was in third grade and since then he grew up along with his two brothers Maurice Luke, Daniel Luke and mother. As a child, he travelled frequently owing to his mother’s occupation.
He shifted six schools before attending Linden High School during freshman year. He later graduated from the performing arts school Henry Snyder High School in Jersey City. After graduating from school in 1992, he attended the Jersey State College to study acting.
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In 1995, Derek Luke moved to Hollywood with an aspiration to become an actor. He began life in Hollywood doing odd jobs to support himself. During the day, he used to attend auditions and at night he attended acting classes.
He began his career in acting through appearances in television series like ‘The King of Queens’ (1999 and 2000) and ‘Moesha’ (2001).
In 2002, he was selected for the titular role of the feature film ‘Antwone Fisher’, which was directed and produced by American actor, producer and director Denzel Washington.
He was known to play versatile characters on screen. In 2004, he essayed the role of high school football player James Earl "Boobie" Miles, Jr. in ‘Friday Night Lights’.
In 2006, he acted in the much acclaimed feature film ‘Glory Road’, in which he played the character of basketball player Tyrone Bobby Joe Hill.
Derek Luke has made appearances in several music videos like American R&B recording artist Monica’s song ‘So Gone’ in 2003, and soul singer-songwriter Alicia Keys’ song ‘Teenage Love Affair’, released in 2006.
He played the role of American rapper, singer and songwriter Sean John Combs in the feature film ‘Notorious’ (2009). The same year he was part of the American comedy drama film ‘Madea Goes to Jail’.
He played the character of Gabe Jones in the 2011 American superhero film ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’. His other notable f films include: ‘Sparkle’ (2012), ‘Baggage Claim’ (2013) and ‘Self/less’ (2015).
Derek Luke has also made several appearances in television series. These include: Cameron Boone in ‘Trauma’ (2009-2010), Dr. Miles Bourdet in ‘Hawthorne’ (2011), and Gregory Thomas in ‘The Americans’ (2013). His performance in the television series ‘Empire’ (2015) and ‘Rogue’ (2015 – present) are highly acclaimed.
He is part of an upcoming American television series titled ‘13 Reasons Why’ based on the eponymous 2007 novel by Jay Asher. The television series is scheduled for release in 2017.
Derek Luke is an actor who is known for his versatility. His ability to portray real life characters earned him much critical and commercial recognition. His most acclaimed works are feature films ‘Antwone Fisher’ (2002), ‘Friday Night Lights’ (2004) and ‘Notorious’(2009).
Awards & Achievements
In 2002, his performance in the film ‘Antwone Fisher’ earned him awards like the ‘BET Award for Best Actor’, ‘Black Reel Award for Best Actor’, ‘Black Reel Award for Best Breakthrough Performance’ , ‘Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead’, ‘National Board of Review Award for Best Male Breakthrough Performance’ and ‘Satellite Award for Outstanding New Talent’.
In 2006, Derek Luke won the ‘Hollywood Film Festival Award for Best Breakthrough Actor’ for his portrayal of basketball player Bobby Joe Hill in the feature film ‘Glory Road’.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1998, Derek Luke married actress and singer, Sophia Adella Hernandez. The couple has a child, born in 2007.
Derek Luke has an estimated net worth of $ 5 million.