Date of Birth : Jun 10th 1949
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’s next role came in TV, in the small series Hot Hero Sandwich in 1979. Faison did make it to the big screen in 1980, when he appeared in Permanent Vacation however he was credited in the film 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 Stephen King film Maximum Overdrive. In 1988 he starred alongside Eddie Murphy and again James Earl Jones in Coming to America, when he played the Landlord. Another big break came for Faison when he appeared as Barney in the classic thriller The Silence of the Lambs. The Silence of the Lambs would later bring more work Faisons way, as he later appears as Barney in the sequel (Hannibal) and the prequel (Red Dragon). In The Silence of the Lambs Faison gets the opportunity to work with legendary actors, such as Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster. During the 1990-1991 season, he starred in the Fox situation comedy,True Colors, with Stephanie Faracy and Nancy Walker, about an interracial couple. Following the first season he was replaced by Cleavon Little. In 1991 Faison again appears alongside Hopkins in the film Freejack, which also stars Mick Jagger and “Maximum Overdrive” co-star Emilio Estevez. In 1998, he was a regular on the science-fiction TV show Prey. Faison has a starring role as the Baltimore City Police Commissioner Ervin Burrell on the HBO drama The Wire.
Faison is the only actor to appear in the first four Hannibal Lecter films. He played Lt. Fisk in Manhunter, and Barney in The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, and Red Dragon.
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. He is married to Jane Mandel and they live in Montclair, New Jersey. He is not related to Scrubs and Clueless star Donald Faison.
Faison received an honorary Doctorate Degree from his alma mater, Illinois Wesleyan University, in 2002 and was the keynote speaker at the commencement ceremony.