Honesty, dedication, charisma, and well-roundedness make Jeffrey Meek one of the most talented actors of our time. So few performers of both stage and screen truly know what it takes to not only portray a believable and interesting array of characters, but more importantly what it means to be a "real" human being who knows oneself.
On February 11, 1959, in the city of Fairfield, California, Jeffrey William Meek was born. The youngest of four children, (Jimmy, who was 10 years older than him, his sister Jacquie, 9 years older and Jon, 18 months older) Jeffrey faced tough times early on. His father, James Meek, a now-retired Chief Master Sergeant in the Air Force, was always away from home, and many times took the family with him when he was transferred to different regions. His mother, Elleen, a Junior High School teacher who taught mostly English and Music, remained away from the home as well, working constantly to help support her family. Although Meek traveled to many places around the globe such as Germany, Michigan, Texas, New York, and San Francisco, he quickly adjusted to different environments and easily made friends. In 1966, when Jeffrey was only seven years old, tragedy struck when his older brother, Jimmy, was unfortunately killed in an automobile accident. Although times were tough and money was scarce, the Meek's still had love.
Jeffrey Meek always had a talent for acting, and in the third grade, he had his first speaking role. At the age of 12, he began acting in school plays. Later on, Meek went to Arlington High School in Riverside, California, where he was an avid sports participant. He played basketball, baseball, football, and tennis, and received many honors in sports. Jeff was the intramural tennis champion, and at times, his many activities in sports clashed with his pursuit of acting. He once showed up to football practice with whiteface on just after he had been studying for a mime tournament, and the football coach made him do bear crawls all over the field.
In 1979, Jeffrey Meek enrolled in the University of California at Irvine as a theatre major. While living on Balboa Island and Corona Del Mar, Meek had several jobs. He would clean houses, sweep streets, and bartend at the same time he was doing plays and going to school full time. In only two years, Jeff had done fifteen plays, and even produced an outstandingly successful play which won several theatre awards when it was moved to Los Angeles. Life was going great for Jeffrey, and in 1983, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama and moved to New York City in the hopes of pursuing a career on Broadway.
In the early 1980's, Meek was the singer of the band, Crime, alongside with Doors drummer John Densmore and Fear's Derf Scratch. Although they never released an album, the band played songs from the Sam Shepherd play, Tooth of Crime. Around the same time, Jeffrey began practicing martial arts under world-renowned Aikido expert, Kensho Furuya, in order to know his body for the stage. Later on, when Meek needed work, he got a job in television as Quinn McCleary on the soap opera, Search for Tomorrow in 1984, and hoped to do theatre on the side. When Jeff found himself working on the set for over fifteen hours a day, that idea was out of the question. Meek made appearances on daytime soaps General Hospital and Capitol as well. Also, in 1984, Jeffrey was married for seven months.
Search for Tomorrow was cancelled in 1986, and in 1987, Jeffrey appeared in Cyberforce, an unsold pilot for a sci-fi TV series. In 1988, Meek went on to play Remo Williams in the Remo Williams TV pilot, which was a continuation of the film, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, and based on The Destroyer book series. Unfortunately, the pilot was all that was made of this series, and Meek would be moving on to other jobs. In the same year, Jeffrey Meek went to North Carolina for a supporting role in the film Winter People, which starred Kurt Russell. Winter People was shown at the AFI International Film Festival's opening night when it was released in 1989, and was a success. Not too long after finishing Winter People did Meek find himself in New Orleans shooting Johnny Handsome in another supporting role. In between shooting days on Johnny Handsome, Meek went to Florida to guest appear on an episode of Miami Vice.
In 1990, Jeffrey Meek played a villain in Heart Condition, a comedy starring Bob Hoskins and Denzel Washington, and also starred in the film Night of the Cyclone, which was shot in the Comoro Islands, between Madagascar and Mozambique. Jeff played an artist with a possibly deadly past, whom an innocent daughter of a cop has a passionate affair with. Kris Kristofferson also starred in this suspense thriller. Meek then appeared in 1991's The Brotherhood, a crime-drama about the daily life of a mob family. In this, he was a mob boss named Salvatore whose brother, played by actor Anthony LaPaglia, attempts to bring him down. Since the network became frightened of the show's authenticity to the Italian mafia, only the pilot was made and aired. Jeff soon received the offer to do the late-night CBS espionage series, The Exile, which was shot on location in Paris, France. Meek played John Phillips, a U.S. double agent who faked his own death after an assassination attempt on his life. He was residing as an exile in Paris under the identity of John Stone after his country thought he had betrayed them. The extremely cold weather conditions in France made it difficult to work on the series, but paradise was just around the corner.
While in the middle of shooting The Exile, Jeffrey Meek received word that he was wanted for the part of Jonathon Raven on a new CBS series, Raven, which would be shot on location in Hawaii. Meek warmed to the idea, and was flown to Los Angeles to do a screen test. When he got the part, Meek underwent an extensive amount of martial arts training by expert Billy Blanks, creator of the Tae-Bo workout video series. Co-starring a comical Lee Majors, the two proved to be a worthy team. The first season of Raven was a success, and the series was extended throughout the first quarter of 1993. Sadly, Raven was cancelled in late April of that year due to a lack of advertising of the series, as well as schedule conflicts. This was a huge blow to Meek, but he was not going to let anything stop him or slow him down.
Even though Raven was over, Meek still felt he owed a great deal to the people of Hawaii. He served as celebrity host of a "Big Brothers-Big Sisters" benefit, although he felt that he owed the community so much more. After leaving Hawaii, Jeffrey continued his pursuit of theatre acting and was in such highly acclaimed productions as William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. In 1994, Meek returned to film work in Louisiana, playing Father Thomas Mullberry in The St. Tammany Miracle, the story of how a coach Mullberry hires for a girls basketball team makes the group a success. Meek was then cast as a successful photographer who falls in love with a beautiful woman for the 1995 CBS mini-series Dazzle, based on the novel by Judith Krantz. In 1996, Jeffrey Meek co-starred in the film Timelock as a criminal of the 23rd century who is placed on an asteroid prison, but breaks out and wreaks havoc on the crew. This time, Meek played a psychotic and sometimes comedic villain with a southern-drawl, since he had finished doing Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire just prior to this film. In the same year, Meek had a supporting role in the TV-movie Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story. Jeffrey played the abusive Tom Barrett in a true story about the life of Olympic champion Greg Louganis, who also graduated from the same university as Meek.
Jeff finally received a comedic role in 1998 when he played Gynecologist Dr. Teitlebaum in an episode of the sitcom Alright Already. Not too much longer after that was Jeffrey in Berlin shooting a German-French-American co-production entitled Babyraub - Kinder fremder Mächte, also known as Visioner. Meek played a parapsychologist named Philip Devlin who seeks help in Berlin for his troubling visions. This English language TV pilot aired in Germany in 1998. In the same year, Meek guest appeared in two episodes of Pacific Blue, a popular California beach police series on USA Network.
1998 also marked the return to television for Meek when he became a regular in the series Mortal Kombat: Conquest. The series was shot in Orlando and Kissimmee, Florida at both MGM Studios and Splendid China Theme Park. Jeff played duel roles of both good and evil rulers. He was Lord Rayden, god of thunder and protector of the Earth Realm, and Shao Kahn, evil emperor of Outworld. The series ran until May of 1999, ending in a climactic fight between Rayden and Shao Kahn. "It is sort of like playing Obi Wan and Darth Vader at the same time," Meek said. Shortly after finishing Mortal Kombat: Conquest, Jeffrey went to Toronto for a lead role in the film Codename: Phoenix. He played U.S. Marshall Jake Hawkins who joins forces with a Hong Kong female martial artist in 2020 to prevent the release of a deadly virus which halts the aging process.
Also in 1999, Jeff made a guest appearance in the Halloween episode of the television series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, as the renowned character, Vlad the Impaler. Meek greatly enjoyed working in New Zealand, where the series was filmed, and wishes to return someday on another project. Later on, he appeared in the special crossover episodes of The Pretender and Profiler, which aired in February of 2000. Meek then played in the independent film, Vice, which premiered on June 29, 2000, at the "Dances with Films" festival. In May of the same year, Jeffrey Meek finally achieved a lifelong dream. He starred as "The Stranger" in a musical based on a poem by rock legend Jim Morrison, who happened to be someone Meek highly admired for a long time. The musical was entitled Celebration of the Lizard and featured over 33 songs by The Doors. This was the first time that Jeffrey came near to achieving his dream of becoming a rock star. The production, and Meek, were magnificent, and the musical is being considered for Broadway.
In December of 2000, Jeff completed the thriller, Tailspin, where he played a roadside bar owner who turns out to be a blackmailer. Meek enjoyed the fact that he could actually sleep in his own bed at night for the first time while working on the film, being that it was his first to be shot in Los Angeles. To date, Jeffrey Meek has performed in over 150 plays and musicals and has won such awards as the Dramalogue Award for his role in Lu Ann Hampton Laverty Oberlander. He has also received the Dramalogue Best Actor Award for his role in Cuba and his Teddy Bear and the Empire Theatre League's Best Actor in a Comedy Award for his role in God's Favorite. Some of his plays have included Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, Landford Wilson's Burn This, Joseph Kesselring's Arsenic and Old Lace, and the musical Dracul.
Today, Meek enjoys writing screenplays, playing basketball and golf, and practicing martial arts. He has recently developed a strong interest in working on films behind the scenes and has future plans of becoming a director or producer. During his career, Jeffrey Meek has maintained originality, an honest expression of himself through the art of acting and, above all, knows and honestly expresses his true inner self which we all have come to love and aspire to.