Biography: Derek Luke
Derek Luke previously starred for Focus Features as real-life South African hero Patrick Chamusso in Catch a Fire. His performance brought him Satellite and Black Reel Award nominations, as well as the Breakthrough Award from the Hollywood Awards and the Star of Tomorrow Award from the Motion Picture Club.
The New Jersey native made his feature film debut in 2002 in the title role of Antwone Fisher, written by the real-life Antwone Fisher and directed by and starring Denzel Washington. He won the part after five auditions, and while working at the Sony Pictures gift shop. Up until that time, his acting credits had consisted of small appearances in the television series Moesha and The King of Queens.
Mr. Luke’s performance in Antwone Fisher earned him the Independent Spirit and Black Reel Awards for Best Actor. He was also honored by the National Board of Review, for Breakthrough Performance; and nominated for an MTV Movie Award for the portrayal.
His subsequent movies have included Peter Hedges’ award-winning Pieces of April, opposite Katie Holmes and Academy Award nominee Patricia Clarkson; Peter Berg’s Friday Night Lights; David Mamet’s Spartan; Reggie Rock Bythewood’s Biker Boyz; James Gartner’s Glory Road; Robert Redford’s Lions for Lambs; Adam Brooks’ Definitely, Maybe; Spike Lee’s Miracle at St. Anna, for which he was again a Best Actor nominee at the Black Reel Awards as well as an Image Award nominee; George Tillman Jr.’s Notorious; Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail; Joe Johnston’s Captain America: The First Avenger; and Salim Akil’s Sparkle, opening in the second half of 2012, in which Mr. Luke stars as part of an ensemble that includes Michael Beach, Carmen Ejogo, Mike Epps, Omari Hardwick, Whitney Houston, Jordin Sparks, and Tika Sumpter.
Television audiences have seen him starring in the series Trauma, and in a guest arc on the show Hawthorne.