Actress Michael Michele excelled in roles that belied her beauty and poise, frequently finding herself cast as strong-willed attorneys, doctors and police detectives. Michele initially garnered notoriety in director-star Mario Van Peebles' gritty blaxploitation movie "New Jack City" (1991). From there, it was on to a brief starring role on the adventure series "Dangerous Curves" (CBS, 1992-93) and a recurring character throughout the first season of the urban crime drama, "New York Undercover" (Fox, 1994-98). Demonstrating an aptitude for playing professional women in the public service sector, Michele took on roles on two of the most acclaimed programs of the day - first, as Det. Rene Sheppard on "Homicide: Life on the Street" (NBC, 1993-99), followed by three seasons as Dr. Cleo Finch on "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009). With the increased recognition came more parts in feature films, most notably as Veronica Porsche Ali, former wife of "The Greatest" opposite Will Smith in director Michael Mann's biopic, "Ali" (2001). Other film appearances included supporting work in the grim L.A. cop-drama "Dark Blue" (2002) and the romantic-comedy "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" (2003). The actress was also seen on the short-lived legal-drama "Kevin Hill" (UPN, 2004-05), followed by several recurring appearances on such series as "Gossip Girl" (The CW, 2007-13) in 2011. Michele ably projected inner-resolve and mental toughness to each of her deceptively attractive characters.