S. Epatha Merkerson (born Sharon Epatha Merkerson, November 28, 1952) is an American film, stage, and television actress. She has won a Golden Globe, Emmy Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, Obie Award and four NAACP Image Awards. She has also received two Tony Award nominations. She is best known for her role as NYPD Lieutenant Anita Van Buren from 1993 to 2010 on the long-running NBC police procedural drama series, Law & Order. She appeared in 391 episodes of the series--more than any other cast member. In 2012, Merkerson became the host of Find Our Missing, a reality-reenactment series on TV One which profiles missing people of color.
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