After a few starts and stops early in his career, actor/filmmaker Eli Harris is well beyond the starting line…but not ready to stop at the finish line. Considered an up-and-comer in the film industry, Eli is taking his television and film experience to the next level, including providing opportunities for others.
Originally from Lynchburg, Virginia, Eli started acting at age 6 in theater as a member of the Cherry Tree players and continued with theater throughout his school years. His life took its first detour off the road toward a career in acting when he enlisted in the United States Army. He left the military in 1998 after the loss of his mother, then moved to Detroit where he revisited his love for theater. He got his first break in a music video with Willie Max and singer Raphael Saadiq. He then took another hiatus from acting…this time, to start a family. In 2003, however, Eli returned to acting to stay. After getting a brief part on ABC's short-lived Line Of Fire, he became a distinguished member of Screen Actors Guild (SAG), then went on to get a feature role as the police negotiator on CBS's Hack. Mentored by the late actor Carl Anderson, also a Lynchburg native, Eli has been in over 20 films and television shows, working alongside veterans like Danny Glover (who mentored Eli briefly), Ice Cube, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and many others. His other credits include Sex and the City, Law & Order, and The Wire, as well as playing the boyfriend to Alicia Keys in the 2007 film The Nanny Diaries. Though acting is Eli's first love, he now writes, directs, and produces films in an effort to give up-and-comers in the business their starts while expressing his own creative ideas. His most recent film Henry was selected for the 2010 Mid Atlantic Black Film Festival, where it won First Runner up for Best Short Film. Eli won for Best Lead Actor in Henry.