Donn Swaby Poster


Donn Swaby is an American actor, born on August 20th, 1973 and raised in Queens, New York by Donald Sr. and Nesline Swaby, both immigrants from the island of Jamaica.

Donn attended Boston University's School of Theatre Arts. Whileat B.U., Donn began his professional career at the encouragement of his acting professor, Prof. Jon Lipsky, who suggested he audition for the role of Thami Mbikwana in the New Rep's production of Athol Fugard's My Children! My Africa! When Donn landed the role, he continued his studies, attending classes in the mornings and rehearsing in the afternoon/evenings.

While at B.U., Donn performed in several professional productions, namely, the Boston premier of George C. Wolfe's play, The Colored Museum at the Boston Center for the Arts (1993) and Stop and Frisk (Karibu Theatre Co.)Both plays were directed by Prof. James Spruill, another of Donn's acting mentors.

It was also in Boston where Donn was hired as a stand-in and photo double for Ruben Santiago-Hudson in the film, Blown Away, also starring Jeff Bridges, Forest Whittaker and Tommy Lee Jones. It would be his first time on a major film set and his first of two times he will have worked with Hudson, whom he later co-stars with in A Raisin in the Sun at the Williamstown Theatre Festival of 1999.

Donn was awarded a Dean's Scholarship for the last two years of the program and attained a BFA in Acting in 1995. He graduated with a 3.6 GPA.

Upon returning to New York, Donn was offered professional representation. He began performing in Off-Broadway, regional theater, radio, television and film. He landed his first speaking role in the film G.I. Jane, starring Demi Moore and Viggo Mortensen and directed by Ridley Scott.

After co-starring with Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Viola Davis, Kimberly Elise and the late Gloria Foster in A Raisin in the Sun (directed by Jack Hoffsiss) at Willimastown, Donn landed the role of Chad Harris on NBC's soap opera, Passions, making Donn a national star. Having played Chad for three years before leaving the show, it is one of the roles he is most known for. Although Passions went off the air in 2009/2010, it continues to be watched, discussed and celebrated by fans around the world.

Donn is also known for playing the role of the flamboyant hairdresser, Delicious, in both feature films, Nora's Hair Salon and Nora's Hair Salon II, starring opposite Jenifer Lewis, Tatiana Ali, Stacy Dash, Li'l Kim and Bobby Brown.

Donn has guest starred on many sitcoms and dramas, including Judging Amy, Crossing Jordan, Half and Half, The Parkers, Surface, Monk, and Gigantic.

Donn founded the Foundation Theatre Company in 1999. He produced and directed Fool for Love by Sam Shepard in 2000. In 2001, he produced and starred in Slow Dance on the Killing Ground by William Hanley, which earned his cast a Best Ensemble Nomination for the N.A.A.C.P. Theatre Awards, Los Angeles Chapter. He would later win Best Ensemble for the same award in 2007 along with the other cast members of Black Angels Over Tuskegee, a play by written by Layon Gray.

Having played the guitar since he was fourteen, Donn has continued to play, write and record solo and with other artists and many bands over the years.

As a writer, Donn has written for Huffington Post and served as Staff Writer for eight years for an alternative women's magazine, Melt Magazine for Women, covering restaurant and music reviews, features and his own What's Cool, L.A. page. He has written several stage plays and screenplays, one of which was produced as a feature film (Buds for Life,2008.) Donn self-published a rhyming picture book titled, You're Everything Everywhere All the Time.

Donn continues to act,write,and play/record music. His hobbies are hiking, live music, reading both fiction and non-fiction, volunteering as a reader to children via the Screen Actors Guild Book Pals Program, where he has also participated in the pencil-pal program, and helped students write their own biographies and monologues.