Merkerson a native of Detroit, Michigan has won critical acclaim for her work in theatre, television and film. She is best known for her 17-season run as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren on NBC’s “Law & Order” (three NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a drama) and has currently teamed up with producer Dick Wolf for the Chicago One series where she plays Sharon Goodwin, the hospital administrator on CHICAGO MED now in it’s 7th season.
Her role in the HBO film “Lackawanna Blues,” earned her an Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG Award, Gracie Allen Award, NAACP Image Award and a IFP Spirit Award nomination. Other credits include “Radio,” which garnered her a Cammie Award, “Black Snake Moan,” “Terminator II: Judgement Day,” “Random Hearts,” “Navy SEALs,” “Mother and Child,” “The Six Wives of Henry Lefay” “Peeples,” Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” and the independent films: “The Challenger” with Michael Clark Duncan; and “Year by the Sea” opposite Karen Allen.
Her theatre credits include the 2008 Broadway revival of “Come Back Little Sheba,” (Tony nomination); August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson,” (Tony, Drama Desk, Helen Hayes Award nomination); “Birdie Blue” and “I’m Not Stupid,” (Obie Awards); “The Old Settler (Helen Hayes Award); “F*cking A”; “While I Yet Live” (Lucille Lortel nominations); “The Roommate” (2017) and “ A Raisin in the Sun” (2019 ) at The Williamstown Theatre Festival.
She lives in New York City and Chicago.