Frankie Faison

Honorary Degree Recipient

Frankie R. Faison

Frankie R. Faison is a Tony-nominated actor who has appeared in some of the most critically acclaimed movies, television shows and Broadway plays of the last 30 years.

With more than 100 film and television appearances to his credit, Faison’s career has featured roles in the movies The Silence of the Lambs, Mississippi Burning, Hannibal and Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist. He also starred as Commissioner Ervin Burrell in the groundbreaking HBO television series The Wire, and has most recently appeared in the Netflix original series Luke Cage and the hit Cinemax series Banshee. His independent film credits include appearances in Order of Redemption, For Sale by Owner and Adam.

On Broadway, Faison’s turn as Gabriel in the production of Fences earned him Best Supporting Actor Tony Award and Drama Desk Award nominations. His other Broadway appearances include Getting Away with Murder, Of Mice and Men at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, and the Circle in the Square revival of The Iceman Cometh and The Shadow Box.

A longtime Montclair resident, Faison is an active member of the community, routinely participating in the Montclair Public Library’s annual Little Read read-aloud marathon celebrating children’s literacy. His daughters, Blake and Amanda, are Montclair State University alumnae. Blake graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish in 2002, and Amanda earned a master’s degree in teaching in 2014. 

Faison received an honorary doctoral degree from his alma mater, Illinois Wesleyan University, in 2002. He also earned a master’s degree in fine arts from New York University in 1974.