Boris Frederic Cecil Tay-Natey Ofuatey-Kodjoe born March 8, 1973), better known as Boris Kodjoe, is an Austrian-born actor of German and Ghanaian descent known for his roles as Kelby in the 2002 film Brown Sugar, the sports-courier agent Damon Carter on the Showtime drama series Soul Food, and a recurring character on FOX’s The Last Man on Earth. He currently co-stars on BET’s Real Husbands of Hollywood and the Grey’s Anatomy spin-off, Station 19.
Kodjoe was born in Vienna, Austria, the son of Ursula, a German psychologist of partially Jewish descent, and Eric Kodjoe, a Ghanaian physician. His namesake is the Russian poet and writer Boris Pasternak. Kodjoe’s matrilineal great-grandmother was Jewish and was murdered in the Holocaust; his maternal grandmother survived the war in hiding. Kodjoe’s parents divorced when he was six years old. He grew up in the vicinity of Freiburg im Breisgau. Kodjoe is fluent in German, English, and French, and speaks some Spanish. He has a brother named Patrick and two sisters named Nadja and Lara. Kodjoe attended Virginia Commonwealth University on a tennis scholarship, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing in 1996. A four-year letterman on the Rams’ men’s tennis team, he is currently ninth in school history with 75 career singles wins. Tied for third in doubles victories with 66, he was paired with Jonas Elmblad on 37 of them, also third all-time. His brother Patrick Kodjoe played for VCU’s basketball team. A back injury ended Boris’ tennis aspirations, but he was quickly signed as a model and soon after entered acting. In 1995, he was featured in TLC’s music video for “Red Light Special.” Named one of the “50 Most Beautiful People in the World” by People magazine in 2002, Kodjoe is perhaps best known as one of the seven regular cast members from the Showtime drama Soul Food, which aired from 2000 to 2004. He appeared in the 2002 film Brown Sugar and starred in the short-lived sitcom Second Time Around with his Soul Food co-star Nicole Ari Parker, whom he eventually married.
In July 2018, Kodjoe landed a recurring role in second season of the Grey’s Anatomy spin-off series, Station 19. In October, he was promoted to a series regular after his appearance in the season premiere as the new fire captain, Robert Sullivan. Kodjoe will portray O.J. Simpson in the upcoming film Nicole and O.J., which will argue Simpson’s innocence.
Kodjoe married his Soul Food: The Series co-star Nicole Ari Parker on May 21, 2005, in Gundelfingen, Germany. She gave birth to their first child, a girl, in March 2005. She has spina bifida, which was diagnosed at birth. Parker gave birth to the couple’s second child, a boy, in October 2006. Kodjoe and his wife are members of Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. The family resides in Los Angeles, California. Parker and Kodjoe competed against one another on a February 2019 episode of Lip Sync Battle.