Lt. Anita Van Buren
S. Epatha Merkerson
S. Epatha Merkerson stars as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren in "Law & Order," a role for which she received a 2006 NAACP Image Award and nominations from 2007-09. An Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award winner, S. Epatha Merkerson has won critical acclaim for her brilliant work in theatre, television and film. On stage, Merkerson performed on Broadway in "Come Back Little Sheba" directed by Michael Pressman at the Biltmore Theatre. She received a Tony nomination, a Drama League nomination, and an Outer Critics Circle nomination for her portrayal of Lola Delaney. She also starred in the L.A. production of “Sheba.” Starring in the HBO film "Lackawanna Blues," she also garnered a 2006 NAACP Image Award, a Gracie Allen Award and an IFP Spirit nomination. Other film credits include: "The Rising Place," "Radio" (Cammie Award), "Jersey Girl," "Random Hearts," "Terminator II: Judgment Day," "Jacobs Ladder," "Navy Seals," "Loose Cannons," "Black Snake Moan," and the independent film “Slipstream.” Merkerson has co-starred in numerous television movies including "Girl," "Positive," "A Mother’s Prayer," “An Unexpected Life," "It’s a Girl Thing,” and "A Place for Annie.” In 1998, she reprised her role as Lt. Anita Van Buren for the NBC movie "Exiled." Prior to "Law & Order" Merkerson was a series regular on "Peewee’s Playhouse" and "Mann and Machine." She also made guest appearances on "Frasier" and can be seen in a 3-episode arc of "The Closer." On stage she has performed On and Off Broadway in productions including Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Piano Lesson," the Young Playwrights Festival's production of "I’m not stupid," "The Old Settler" (Helen Hayes Award), and "Birder Blue" (Obie Award).