Frankie Russel Faison
June 10, 1949
Newport News, Virginia, U.S.
|Education||Illinois Wesleyan University (BA)|
New York University (MFA)
|Spouse||Samantha Jupiter Faison|
Frankie Russel Faison (born June 10, 1949) is an American actor known for his role as Deputy Commissioner, and, later, Commissioner, Ervin Burrell in the HBO series The Wire, as Barney Matthews in the Hannibal Lecter franchise, and as Sugar Bates in the Cinemax series Banshee.
Early life and education
Faison was born in Newport News, Virginia, the son of Carmena (née Gantt) and Edgar Faison. He studied drama at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois, where he joined Theta Chi fraternity. He went on to obtain a Master of Fine Arts degree from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, graduating in 1974. Frankie has been married to Samantha Jupiter Faison since 2017.
Faison started his acting career in 1974 in the New York Shakespeare Festival production of King Lear, with James Earl Jones in the title role. Faison later appeared opposite Jones in the Broadway premiere of Fences, for which he received a nomination for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play. Faison's next role came in TV, in the short-lived series Hot Hero Sandwich in 1979. Faison did not make it to the big screen until 1980, when he appeared in Permanent Vacation as "Man in Lobby". A string of small roles followed until 1986, when he played the part of Lt. Fisk in Manhunter. Also that year, he appeared in the comedy The Money Pit, as an unruly construction worker, and in the Stephen King film Maximum Overdrive. In 1988, he appeared alongside Eddie Murphy and James Earl Jones in Coming to America in the role of a landlord, and won a minor role in the 1989 Spike Lee film Do the Right Thing. Faison also appeared in 1996's The Rich Man's Wife as Detective Ron Lewis. He also appeared in the 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair as Detective Paretti. Faison is notable for being the most frequent actor to appear in adaptations of Thomas Harris' Hannibal books: along with Manhunter, he also appeared as Lecter's jailer Barney in The Silence of the Lambs, the sequel Hannibal, and the prequel Red Dragon.
During the 1990–1991 season, he starred in the Fox situation comedy True Colors with Stephanie Faracy and Nancy Walker about an interracial couple. He was replaced by Cleavon Little for the second season of the program. In 1991, Faison again appeared alongside Hopkins in the film Freejack, which also starred Mick Jagger and Maximum Overdrive co-star Emilio Estevez. In 1998, he was a regular on the science-fiction TV show Prey. In 1992, he played the patriarch Bailey in the Cheryl West play Before It Hits Home. In the 2003 film Gods and Generals, Faison played the role of Jim Lewis, a freed slave, who shares his religious faith and optimism with CSA General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson as the general's personal cook. In 2004, he starred as JoJo Anderson in The Cookout and appeared in White Chicks. Faison had a starring role as the Baltimore City Police Commissioner Ervin Burrell on the HBO drama The Wire.
Faison appeared in Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns, a movie about a single mom who takes her family to Georgia for the funeral of her father—a man she never met. There, her clan is introduced to the crass, fun-loving Brown family. Faison played the role of Brown and Vera's brother, L.B. Brown. In 2009, he was in the ensemble cast of John Krasinski's adaptation of Brief Interviews With Hideous Men playing the son of a toilet attendant who caustically recounts his father's experiences in one of the titular monologues.
He appeared in episodes of Blue Bloods, which also stars Tom Selleck, as an assistant police commissioner. His main film role in this period was as Harlan in the film Adam. He also appeared in a third-season episode of Lie to Me.
Faison played the role of Sugar Bates, a prizefighter turned tavernkeeper, on the Cinemax program Banshee. He appeared as Henry "Pop" Hunter in the Netflix series Luke Cage, and played a supporting role in the 2016 Amazon Studios original special An American Girl Story – Melody 1963: Love Has to Win.
|1980||Permanent Vacation||Man in Lobby|
|1981||Ragtime||Gang Member No. 1|
|1982||Cat People||Detective Brandt|
|A Little Sex||Electrician|
|Hanky Panky||Cop Driver|
|Exterminator 2||Be Gee|
|1986||The Money Pit||James|
|1988||Coming to America||Mr. Townsend|
|1989||Do the Right Thing||Coconut Sid|
|1990||Betsy's Wedding||Zack Monroe|
|1991||The Silence of the Lambs||Barney Matthews|
|City of Hope||Levonne|
|Money for Nothing||Madigan|
|1994||Heading Home||Horace Jones|
|I Love Trouble||Police Chief|
|1996||The Stupids||The Lloyd|
|Mother Night||Robert Sterling Wilson|
|Albino Alligator||Agent Marv Rose|
|The Rich Man's Wife||Detective Ron Lewis|
|1997||Julian Po||Sheriff Leon|
|1999||The Thomas Crown Affair||Detective Paretti|
|A Little Inside||Tom Donner|
|Orson Welles Sells His Soul to the Devil||Carter||Short|
|2000||Where the Money Is||Security Guard|
|2001||Gina, an Actress, Age 29||Albert||Short|
|The Sleepy Time Gal||Jimmy Dupree|
|Down to Earth||Whitney Daniels|
|Thirteen Conversations About One Thing||Richard 'Dick' Lacey|
|Red Dragon||Barney Matthews|
|2003||Gods and Generals||Jim Lewis|
|America Brown||Coach Bryant|
|White Chicks||Chief Elliott Gordon|
|The Cookout||Jojo Andersen|
|In Good Company||Corwin|
|2007||My Blueberry Nights||Travis|
|2008||Meet the Browns||L.B.|
|Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist||Ticket Salesman|
|2009||Brief Interviews with Hideous Men||Subject #42|
|Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant||Rhamus Twobellies|
|For Sale by Owner||Gene Woodman|
|Breaking Point||Judge Green|
|2011||Mayor Cupcake||Lenny Davis|
|2012||Cowgirls 'n Angels||Augustus|
|Danger Word||Grandpa Joe||Short|
|2014||Clipped Wings, They Do Fly||Mayor Goode|
|Assumption of Risk||Dr. Paulson|
|Away from Here||Carl|
|2016||An American Girl Story – Melody 1963: Love Has to Win||Frank Ellison|
|Smoke Filled Lungs||Stanley|
|2017||The Case for Christ||Joe Dubois|
|2018||An Actor Prepares||Deacon Frank Dodge|
|2019||The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain||Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.|
|2020||The Grudge||William Matheson|
|I'm Your Woman||Art|
|1974||Great Performances||Captain||Episode: "King Lear"|
|1979||Hot Hero Sandwich||-||TV series|
|1982||Another World||Captain Hancock||Episode: "Episode #1.4478"|
|1983||The Edge of Night||Ralph Pettibone||Regular cast|
|1985||Search for Tomorrow||Willard Clovis||Episode: "Episode #1.8643"|
|Kate & Allie||Detective||Episode: "The Bad Seed"|
|1987||The Equalizer||Zudo||Episode: "Mission: McCall: Part 1"|
|1989||A Man Called Hawk||Mr. Carver||Episode: "Choice of Chance"|
|Monsters||Jack Lyle||Episode: "The Mandrake Root"|
|Law & Order||Lester Crawford||Episode: "Out of the Half-Light"|
|1990–91||True Colors||Ron Freeman||Main cast|
|1992||All My Children||Minister Bauer||Episode: "Episode #1.5910"|
|1994||The Spider and the Fly||Detective Turner||TV movie|
|1995||The Langoliers||Don Gaffney||Episode: "Episode #1.1 & #1.2"|
|1996||New York Undercover||Captain Wilton||Episode: "Fire Show"|
|1997||Oz||Cornelius Keane||Episode: "Capital P"|
|1997–98||Cosby||Ron||Episode: "I'm OK, You're Hilton" & "On the Rocks"|
|1998||Prey||Ray Peterson||Main cast|
|1998–99||All My Children||Frank Dawson||Regular cast|
|2001||Call Me Claus||Dwayne||TV movie|
|2002–08||The Wire||Ervin Burrell||Main cast (season 1-4), recurring cast (season 5)|
|2004||The Jury||Nick Van Lier||Episode: "Bangers"|
|2007–08||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||FBI Agent Tom Nickerson||Episode: "Florida" & "Signature"|
|2008||Army Wives||General Baxter||Episode: "Departures, Arrivals"|
|Play or Be Played||Detective Lyle||TV movie|
|2008–12||One Life to Live||Richard Evans||Regular cast|
|2009–20||Grey's Anatomy||William Bailey||4 episodes|
|2010||Blue Bloods||Jeffords||Episode: "Samaritan"|
|Lie to Me||Teddy||Episode: "Smoked"|
|2010–15||The Good Wife||Jeremiah Easton||4 episodes|
|2013||Elementary||Judge Brewster O'Hare||Episode: "Tremors"|
|2013–16||Banshee||Sugar Bates||34 episodes|
|2014||Unforgettable||Mayor Beverly||Episode: "Omega Hour"|
|Black Box||Wade||Episode: "Sing Like Me"|
|Forever||Pepper Evans||Episode: "6 A.M."|
|2016||Luke Cage||Henry "Pop" Hunter||2 episodes|
|2017||The Good Fight||Jeremiah Easton||Episode: "Reddick v Boseman"|
|Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television||Captain Jackson #5||Episode: "Hungry for Justice"|
|2018||Hawaii Five-0||Leroy Davis||Episode: "Aohe Mea Make I Ka Hewa; Make No I Ka Mihi Ole"|
|2019||The Village||Ron||10 episodes|
|2020||God Friended Me||Mr. Johnson||Episode: "Harlem Cinema House"|
|The Expanse||Charles||Episode: "Churn"|
|2021||The Blacklist||Abraham Moores||Episode: "The Fribourg Confidence"|
|Bull||Lee Donaldson||Episode: "King Bull"|
|Redemption in Cherry Springs|
|2022||The Rookie||Christopher "Cutty" Clark||2 episodes|
|The Rookie: Feds||Christopher "Cutty" Clark||Main cast|
- "Frankie Faison". IMDb.
- "Frankie Faison". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-07-27.
- Frankie Faison Biography (1949–)
- "NYU Graduate Acting Alumni". 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-01.
- "Frankie Faison". IMDb.
- "Over 20 Luke Cage Set Photos, Plus Another Cast Member Confirmed!". 25 September 2015.
- Freeze, Kellie (21 October 2016). "Amazon and American Girl Explore Civil Rights in An American Girl Story — Melody 1963: Love Has to Win". Channel Guide. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
- "The War on Drugs - Holding on [Official Video]". YouTube.