Over the years, Donald Faison has been one of the most consistent faces in film and on TV. With an unforgettable spot in the Clueless cast and a hand in some of the best Scrubs episodes, there will forever be a place for Faison in the hearts of millions of people who grew up in the ‘90s and early 2000s.
But, the list of the best Donald Faison movies and TV shows doesn’t stop with those two quintessential titles. In fact, there are dozens of other roles on the silver screen and small screen that make an argument for the actor being one of the best of his generation. While I would love to break down each and every role he’s played over the years, for the sake of brevity I’ve made a quick list of his best performances and where you can watch them streaming.
Cher (Alicia Silverstone) has everything a 16-year-old daughter of a successful Beverly Hills attorney could ever want: fortune, a massive closest of the best clothes, and unparalleled popularity at her exclusive high school. But when an attempt to make new arrival Tia Frasier (Brittany Murphy) more attractive blows up in her face, the once on-top-of-her-game high schooler finds herself on a journey of self-discovery.
One of the things that takes Clueless from a good movie to a great movie is its large ensemble cast with several up-and-comers, including Donald Faison, who absolutely kills it as Cher’s best friend’s boyfriend Murray Duvall. Whether he’s there for a laugh (those braces!) or some good advice at the right time, Faison is there at all the right moments with impeccable timing.
Scrubs (2001 - 2010)
Bill Lawrence’s landmark medical comedy series, Scrubs, follows young doctors John “J.D.” Dorian (Zach Braff), Elliott Reid (Sarah Chalke), and Christopher Turk (Donald Faison) as they join the staff at Sacred Heart Hospital and grow as medical doctors and humans over the course of nine seasons of hilarious inside jokes and surprisingly heartfelt moments.
Sacred Heart staff come and go, patients are treated or pass on, and the antics only get crazier, but one aspect of Scrubs that remained a constant throughout the show’s run was J.D. and Turk’s friendship, which will forever go down as one of the best TV friendships of all time. And, what makes this unlikely friendship so believable is the manner in which Faison and Braff seemed to genuinely care for one another, so much so it never looked like acting.
Remember The Titans (2000)
When T.C. Williams High School is forced to integrate, the members of the the new football team want nothing to do with one another or new head coach Herman Boone (Denzel Washington). After extensive training at the remote Gettysburg College, though, the new teammates form a bond that no one can destroy, not even their friends and families back home.
One of the best sports movies, Remember the Titans features a remarkable cast of future Hollywood stars, with one of those names being Donald Faison, who portrays Petey Jones. Over the course of the movie, Petey goes through quite a journey, from showboating running back to a player who loses his confidence (thanks to Coach Boone’s verbal abuse), and finally a reborn defensive player who has one of the standout moments of the state championship game.
Waiting To Exhale (1995)
Four friends, each going through their own personal issues revolving around love, family, careers, and happiness, turn to one another for support and a good laugh in Waiting to Exhale.
Outside of the four leads— Bernadine Harris (Angela Bassett), Robin Stokes (Lela Rochon), Savannah Jackson (Whitney Houston), and Gloria Matthews (Loretta Devine) — the Waiting to Exhale cast is bursting with talent, like Donald Faison, who plays Gloria’s son, Tarik Matthews. The way the young actor is able to handle himself in a variety of difficult scenes (including a talk with his mom about his estranged father’s sexuality) is outstanding and only adds to the themes of the movie.
Felicity (2000 - 2002)
Created by J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves, The WB (now The CW) drama series, Felicity, followed Felicity Porter (Keri Russell) as she left her family and life back home in California to attend University of New York in Manhattan, with each of the show’s four seasons covering a different year in college.
Although Donald Faison only appeared as a recurring character in the latter half of the show’s four-season run, he was given a great deal of time to shine at the early stage of his career. Less over-the-top than his Clueless and Scrubs roles, Faison’s Tracy was a genuinely likable character whose relationship with Elena Tyler (Tangi Miller) presented some challenges to his modest upbringing.
Star Wars Resistance (2018 - 2020)
Created by Dave Filoni, Star Wars Resistance takes place in the Star Wars timeline before and during the events of sequel trilogy, with a focus on a group of fighters who work together to spy on the First Order and prevent the Galactic Empire’s successor from destroying freedom (and life) throughout the galaxy.
Although it doesn’t get talked about as much as Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, or other animated shows set in the galaxy far, far away, this Disney Channel animated series had its moments of greatness. At the center of those was Donald Faison’s Hype Fazon, a pilot whose skill was only matched by his ego. Faison, who flourished in roles like this in the past, does it again here.
Can't Hardly Wait (1998)
On the night of his graduation, Preston Meyers (Ethan Embry) attends his final high school party with one goal and one goal only: proclaim his love to his longtime crush Amanda Beckett (Jennifer Love Hewitt). But, with hundreds of people, including Amanda’s ex-boyfriend, standing between them, Preston has to make the most of his time in Can’t Hardly Wait.
The Can’t Hardly Wait cast is a who’s who of young actors from late ’90s teen movies, including Donald Faison, who makes a brief appearance as Dan, the drummer in the band Love Burger who plays the end-of-high-school party. Not the biggest role of his career, but one that shouldn’t be missed.
Kick-Ass 2 (2013)
In the years after making his debut as the masked crimefighter Kick-Ass, Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) joins a new group of vigilantes who team up to take down his former partner, Chris D’Amico, a.k.a. The Motherfucker (Christopher Mintz-Plasse).
There are a ton of great additions in Kick-Ass 2, including Jim Carrey’s Colonel Stars and Stripes, but one who shouldn’t be overlooked is Samuel Keers, a.k.a. Doctor Gravity (Donald Faison) who is one of the first personalities to join up with Kick-Ass. No surprise here, but Faison is hilarious in his portrayal of a character whose biggest foe isn’t crime, but the truth, considering his problems with fibbing throughout the movie.
Clone High (2002 - 2003)
Bill Lawrence’s short-lived adult animation series, Clone High, ran on MTV for one season between 2002 and 2003 and followed a group of clones of historical figures who all attended an experimental high school together, getting in all sorts of trouble. With characters like Abe Lincoln, Joan of Arc, Gandhi, Cleopatra, and JFK, there were plenty of antics for the group of clones get into during the show’s 13 episodes.
Outside of the core cast, Clone High also featured a number of guest stars, with a lot coming from Lawrence’s other popular show at the time: Scrubs. This includes Donald Faison, who voiced Toots, Joan of Arc’s foster grandfather. The character had some great moments along the way and gave the actor a chance to have a great deal of fun with the format.
The Wave (2019)
On the eve of making a difficult decision at work that could change the lives of multiple people, insurance lawyer Frank (Justin Long) goes out to celebrate with a coworker named Jeff (Donald Faison). But when Frank is given a powerful hallucinogen, reality and fantasy become blended, leaving the confused attorney to question everyone and everything he encounters.
Gille Klabin’s mind-bending psychedelic trip, The Wave, is absolutely bonkers in every way imaginable and does a tremendous job of illustrating the confusion and profound nature of the hallucinogenic experience. Faison’s take on Jeff, the almost straight-man of the movie is out of this world and really drives home just how twisted Long’s character gets along the way.
Again, it should be pointed out that this is just a sampling of the best Donald Faison movies and TV shows, as the actor has had dozens upon dozens of memorable roles throughout his career. Who knows when we'll see Faison in the live-action Powerpuff Girls adaptation, but in the meantime, don't forget to check out CinemaBlend's 2022 TV schedule for all the latest information.
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Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.