Worked With:

Kristen Johnston


Jane Lynch


Gigi Edgley


Zach Braff


Brian Austin Green


Conan O'Brien


Aaron Johnson


Andy Dick


Anna Kendrick


Hutch Dano


Becki Newton


Seth Green

Donald Faison Biography


Home > Actors > F > Faison, Donald > Biography


Birth Name: Donald Faison
Born: 06/22/1974
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA


Faison was born June 22, 1974, and raised in New York City by actor parents, Shirley and Donald. From a very early age, Faison watched from the sidelines as his parents worked nightly with the groundbreaking National Black Theater in Harlem. By the age of five, he showed a talent for memorizing everyone's lines and decided that, if he could do that so easily, he wanted to get in on pretending to be someone else to complete the picture. His first training ground was at the theater's on-site community school, the Children's School for the Development of Intuitive and God Conscious Art. He went on to perform with the youth theater group, CityKids, eventually graduating from the LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts. By then, he had a long resume of both stage experience and television commercials and felt ready to make a go of it in Hollywood.

The 18-year-old newcomer made his film debut almost immediately with a small part in the Harlem-set crime drama, "Juice" (1992), starring Tupac Shakur, which led to teen thug roles in the similarly hard-hitting Wesley Snipes vehicle, "Sugar Hill" (1994) and the low budget "New Jersey Drive" (1995). For Faison, 1995 was a breakthrough year with his role in "Clueless" (1995), the mega-popular Beverly Hills-set update of Jane Austen's "Emma," in which Faison played the affable and somewhat goofy high school student, Murray. In another of that year's biggest box office hits, Faison was seen as Loretta Devine's smart aleck son in the female-focused ensemble drama, "Waiting to Exhale."

The following year he reprised his role on the "Clueless" TV spin-off (ABC, 1996-97; UPN, 1997-99) and also landed a recurring role on the ABC sitcom "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" (ABC, 1996-2000; WB, 2000-03), as a warlock and potential love interest of the high school conjurer in an interracial storyline that was refreshingly handled as a non-issue. After a turn as a high school ladies' man in the 1999 comedy "Trippin'," Faison graduated to higher education parts with a recurring role on the college drama "Felicity," playing the sweet, sexy and celibate boyfriend of Tangi Miller's tough-as-nails Elena. In 2000, the 26-year-old actor returned to high school, playing an athlete on a newly integrated football team coached by Denzel Washington in the blockbuster drama, "Remember the Titans."

Faison, along with Seth Green and Breckin Meyer, sent up the boy band phenomena with an appearance in the 2001 comedy "Josie and the Pussycats" and also appeared in Tom DiCillo's direct-to-video comedy "Double Whammy" (2001) before landing in "Scrubs." Portraying one of very few black doctors on primetime TV, Faison was an instant hit with his quick-witted, cocky Dr. Chris Turk, and he and Zach Braff created intense on-screen chemistry with their comedic "bromance." Turk's relationship storyline with Nurse Carla Espinosa (Judy Reyes), with whom his flirtations lead to marriage and family, lent further dimension to the character, as well as credibility to the actor for showing a realistic emotional range and vulnerability. Meanwhile, his film career carried on uninterrupted with a turn as a downtrodden actor-turned-limo driver in the entertaining kiddie comedy "Big Fat Lair" (2002), and as a party boy in "Uptown Girls" (2003), which reunited him with "Clueless" co-star, Brittany Murphy.

Following voiceover parts on MTV's animated series "Clone High" (MTV, 2002-03) and the preschool series "Higgleytown Heroes" (Playhouse Disney, 2004-08), Faison was honored with BET Comedy awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for "Scrubs" in 2004 and 2005. Around that time, Faison began a series of recurring voiceovers on Cartoon Network's "Robot Chicken" (Cartoon Network, 2005- ) and appeared in the abysmal big screen comedy, "King's Ransom" (2005), about a millionaire businessman (Anthony Anderson) who kidnaps himself to avoid an expensive divorce from his wife (Kellita Smith). Faison earned consecutive nominations from the Image Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series for "Scrubs" in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and the actor was tapped to bring his likable guy sensibility to a hosting position on "The Playbook," a series of six half-hour specials touted as "the ultimate guide for guys." He stuck to his buddy comedy image with a co-starring role alongside Kal Penn in the direct-to-video, "Vegas Baby" (2006). While Faison maintained a growing voiceover schedule on "Kim Possible" (Disney Channel, 2002-07) and "The Boondocks" (Cartoon Network, 2005- ), the future of "Scrubs" became uncertain and a topic of much Hollywood conversation when the WGA writer's strike of 2007 necessitated putting the show's seventh season on hold.

The following year, "Scrubs" returned to the airwaves but on rival network ABC, where its ratings declined and one cast member after another announced that they would leave after the eighth season. Faison remained tight-lipped about his future with the series and, instead, hit movie theaters in spring of 2009 where he starred as a delivery driver who accidentally winds up in a drug war when he leaves a shipment of cocaine at the wrong address in "Next Day Delivery" (2009).