My Story

Donovan William Carter II, born on August 12th, 1989 in Washington, D.C. to Donovan E. Carter and Mae Brown, found himself drawn to acting at a very early age. Donovan’s early credits are a music video in the wake of the L.A. riots, “Stand and be Proud” at the age of 3, and the play, To Kill A Mockingbird, at the age of 8. Shortly after getting his theatrical feet wet, he discovered a new love: sports.
His advanced talents in football and baseball consumed both his time and efforts, leaving very little time for acting. That effort paid off in the form of a full ride football scholarship to UCLA. While he was incredibly passionate about football, it did not culminate in a spot on an NFL roster. Donovan believes that when one door closes, it is truly because God is opening a window. His interest in entertainment was re-ignited by his stepmother, who acted and performed as a vocalist. His exposure to some successful actors and actresses also served to increase his fascination, particularly his relationships with Vanessa Bell Calloway (Coming to America, Cheaper by the Dozen) and Pam Trotter (Dreamgirls). Even with doubts he pursued a career in acting, finding success almost immediately. Donovan was cast as “Vernon,” a starring role on Ballers, which premiered June 21, 2015 on HBO. He credits God, UCLA, HBO, and the entire Ballers team for affording him an opportunity. Donovan has come full circle and is more dedicated than ever to find lasting success in the acting world. His best piece of advice is “Go after your dreams, even when the first step is unknown and scary.”

Destined to be a UCLA Bruin

When we took this picture at a early age little did we know….

Born to be a Bruin:

  • Picture at four years old- Notice the football little Donovan is holding it is a UCLA Bruin’s football. At the time Donovan Sr. was a USC fan with family ties to the Trojans he did not notice at the time.
  • Youth Football- Donovan’s first year playing football was spent as a Westside Bruins of Malibu, CA at the age of 9. Donovan went on to earn team MVP he played Quarterback, Running Back, and Linebacker. 
  • UCLA Bruins- Donovan earned a full ride scholarship to UCLA and was a proud member of the UCLA football team from 2008 until 2012. Donovan graduated with a Degree Of Bachelor Of Arts With a Major In History from the University of California Los Angeles.

Donovan’s First stage experience

On the set of the play To Kill A Mocking Bird

Donovan returned to his first love acting after football ended:

  • Stand and be Proud- Donovan was first introduced to the camera at the age of 3 when his stepmother was participating in a music video. The music video was made shortly after the L.A. riots to inspire the city of Los Angeles to start the healing process.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird- Donovan was introduced to the stage at the age of 8 as a member of the cast of the play “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Donovan had a small role as a paper boy.
  • Extra Work- After graduating from UCLA Donovan landed work as an extra as a football player in various commercials. 
  • Ballers-  When presented the opportunity to audition for HBO Ballers Donovan went after the role with passion and enthusiasm, as they say the rest is history God is good.