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Again playing an athlete, Epps then turned in one of his most noted performances as an aspiring basketball player in Love & Basketball (2000). He also starred opposite Meg Ryan as a boxer in the 2004 film Against the Ropes. That same year, Epps returned to the role of TV doctor on another popular medical drama,
FOX's House M.D.
Epps continued to portray Dr. Eric Foreman, an ambitious young doctor—and one of the series' few characters willing to challenge Dr. Gregory House (played by Hugh Laurie)—until the show came to an end in May 2012, following six seasons. Epps's performance on the series earned him both the 2007 and 2008 NAACP Image Award for best supporting actor in a drama series.
Omar Epps married singer Keisha Spivey (formerly of the all-female R&B trio Total) in 2006. The pair met and briefly dated in 1992. But their relationship didn't last, and Epps says that for years he thought of Spivey as "the one who got away." Epps then dated Love & Basketball co-star Sanaa Lathan before reuniting with Spivey in 2004. He and Spivey have one daughter, K'mari Mae (born in 2004). Epps also has a daughter from a previous relationship, Alyanna Yasmine (born in 1999).
An actor with such remarkable range that he has been typecast as both a troubled athlete and an intelligent doctor, Epps is one of the most successful African-American actors of his generation. "I don't feel like I'm carrying the torch for anyone," he said, "but at the same time I recognize the relevance of a black face on television because when I grew up, there weren't that many black faces on television." Epps recently formed his own production company, Brooklyn Works Films, through which he hopes to expand into writing, directing and producing. Epps sets no limits for himself when imagining the future direction of his career, and has even suggested that he could become president of the United States. "If Ronald Reagan can do it," he said, "I know I can."
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