As the old saying goes, “From small beginnings come great things.” This couldn’t be truer for Toronto native Raymond Ablack, who started his acting career on the beloved Canadian teen drama series, Degrassi: The Next Generation. His talent and passion for the craft gradually propelled him beyond the small screen and into bigger and more diverse roles.
Early Life and Career
Raymond Ablack, born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, was brought up with a burning passion for acting and music that eventually shaped his career. Following his dreams, he pursued a 4-year B.A. in Radio and Television, Media Production, with an English minor at Ryerson University. But he didn’t stop there. Seeking to refine his craft, Ablack went on to study Stand-up Comedy and Improvisation at the prestigious Second City in Toronto.
Ablack’s breakthrough role was as Sav Bhandari in the long-running Canadian television series Degrassi: The Next Generation in 2010. He portrayed the character for five years, appearing in over 100 episodes. During this time, Ablack also appeared as a guest on the television show Life With Derek. Since then, he also starred in a number of productions, including recurring roles in the BBC/Space television series Orphan Black, the Syfy series Defiance, and the Freeform series Shadowhunters.
From Degrassi to the Big Screen
Following his success on Degrassi, Raymond Ablack grew his acting career beyond television, making his feature-length film debut in 2013 with the release of the independent film Fondi ’91. Though the film received mixed reviews from critics, it marked a significant milestone in Ablack’s career.
In 2019, Ablack played a supporting role in the American comedy-drama film Buffaloed, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. He also appeared in the Netflix miniseries Maid, which was released in October 2021. His performance and physique in the series, particularly in a scene where he appears topless while wearing a cowboy hat, gained attention on social media.
Love in the Villa, a Netflix romantic comedy feature film, is one of Ablack’s most recent projects wherein he played the role of Brandon. With his acting versatility and growing list of film and television credits, Ablack has undoubtedly successfully transitioned from Degrassi to the big screen.
Raymond Ablack’s Notable Roles
Raymond Ablack has landed several notable roles in both television and film since his debut in Degrassi. In the third season of the highly-rated Netflix series Narcos, which premiered in 2017, he played DEA Agent Stoddard. In 2016, Ablack won an Indie Series Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Gabriel in the web series Teenagers. In the latest Netflix series Ginny & Georgia, Ablack played Joe, a restaurant owner and one of Georgia’s love interests.
Awards and Nominations
Raymond Ablack’s talent as an actor has not gone unnoticed, as evidenced by his numerous nominations and awards. In 2016, he won an Indie Series Award for Best Supporting Actor in Drama for his performance in Teenagers. He was also nominated for a Best Male Performance – Drama award at the International Academy of Web Television in 2017 and for another Indie Series Award for Best Supporting Actor in Drama in 2018.