Born in South Carolina, Mike Colter was inspired to pursue acting by the 1984 film "A Soldier's Story." After attending the University of South Carolina and achieving a B.A. in theater, Colter continued his education at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, where he received his M.F.A. After spending years getting acting work in guest spots on shows including "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009) and popular sitcom "The Parkers" (UPN 1999-2004), he gained major exposure in 2004 when he played the role of Big Willie Little in Clint Eastwood's Oscar-nominated film "Million Dollar Baby." Although that exposure helped him get more guest roles on TV, Colter didn't land a recurring role until 2010's "The Good Wife" (CBS, 2009-16), and his first series regular role didn't come until 2011, when he appeared in the drama "Ringer" (The CW, 2011-12). The twisty high concept drama starring Sarah Michelle Gellar as a woman who takes over her twin sister's life to escape a mobster who doesn't want her to testify against him aired for one season. Soon after, Colter appeared in another recurring role on the Fox hit show "The Following" (Fox, 2013-15), and his role in "The Good Wife" expanded as well. In 2014 it was announced that Colter would play Luke Cage in the Netflix series of shows based on Marvel's Defenders; he introduced the role in the second of the series, the dark private investigator drama "Jessica Jones" (Netflix 2015-).