Derek realized at a young age that he had a gift for expression. He contemplated acting but it wasn’t until he came face to face with a real actor that he decided to give it a go. “I was working in a store in Newark, New Jersey, and I saw an actor in person, and I got so excited,” he once said in an interview. “My whole day changed. That’s when I decided to challenge myself to make my dreams become a reality.”
2 of 14
The Doctor's In
For his latest transformation Derek brings his swagger to the set of TNT’s ‘Hawthorne’ where he plays a surgical fellow going through a divorce.
3 of 14
Dressed to Impress
Derek is rarely ever spotted without a tie — showing that he’s not only gorgeous but he means business too.
4 of 14
Built to Love
Even dressed down in a t-shirt and jeans there’s just something about this man that always feels first class. (Could it be his sexy sultry stare?)
5 of 14
One Dappper Dude
A suit and tie sure suits Derek. We like to call this look three-piece perfection.
6 of 14
Derek is a jersey boy, born and raised. His father was a native of Guyana and an actor in London before moving to the states. Derek was the middle child of three boys.
7 of 14
Too Smooth to Lose
Clearly Derek means business, but with lips like this who wouldn’t want to steal a kiss?
8 of 14
A True Chameleon
Derek has earned loads of respect in Hollywood for his ability to truly transform into character. He received critical acclaim for his role in the biopic ‘Notorious’ in which he played Sean “Diddy” Combs and brought the music mogul’s larger than life personality to the big screen.
9 of 14
Derek has taken over the big screen with over 12 years of acting under his belt. He’s best known for starring roles in Denzel Washington’s production debut, ‘Antowne Fisher’, ‘Miracle at St. Annas’, and ‘Notorious’.
10 of 14
What's On Tonight
Between making over ten movies in the last eight years, Derek also found time to leave his mark on the small screen. He starred in NBC’s medical drama ‘Trauma’ as a smooth talking paramedic.
11 of 14
The Style Icon
Known for his spot-on sense of style, Derek was tapped to co-host BET’s ‘Rip The Runway’ fashion show alongside actress Joy Bryant in 2009.
12 of 14
Smile For Me
Although his usual red-carpet look is a more serious one, when Derek lets a good laugh out we’re entranced by his smile.
13 of 14
Derek has been happily married to his wife Sophia for over 12 years. He frequently credits her as being his “rock” and his “reason” saying that when it comes to his marriage “divorce is not an option.”
14 of 14
The Leading Man
When our favorite R&B divas need a leading man they often call on Derek to help out. He played Alicia Keys’ love interest in her “Teenage Love Affair” video and Monica’s in the video for her smash hit “So Gone”.
You May Like
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Get The Essence Newsletter and Special Offers delivered to your inbox!