Dec. 7th, 1965
Washington, District of Columbia, USA
Jeffrey Wright's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Quite possibly the most underrated and underexposed actor of his caliber and generation, Jeffrey Wright's undeniable talent and ability to successfully bring to life any role he undertakes is on a par with the most praised and revered A-list actors in the business. Born and raised in Washington DC, Wright graduated from the prestigious Amherst college in 1987. Although he studied Political Science while at Amherst, Wright left the school with something that would prove to be more valuable: a love for acting. Shortly after graduating he won an acting scholarship to NYU, but dropped out after only two months to pursue acting full time. With roles in 1990's Presumed Innocent, and the Broadway production of Angels in America, (in which he won a well deserved Tony award), within a relatively short time Wright was able to show off his exceptional talent and ability on both stage and screen alike. His first major on-screen performance came in 1996 in the Julian Schnabel directed film Basquiat. Wright's harrowing performance as the late painter Jean Michele Basquiat was critically acclaimed for its haunting accuracy and raw emotion. With a Tony, a Golden Globe, and an AFI award under his belt, the intensity of Wright's skill has been proven over and over again. Hopefully the near future will bring an influx of more varied lead roles for black actors so that Wright can continue to astonish his colleagues, critics and fans alike with the intensity of his skill.
- Father died when he was a year old and was raised by his mother, who was a lawyer before working at the U.S. Customs Department, and his aunt, a one-time nurse.
- Plays CIA Agent Felix Leiter in _Casino Royale (2006)_ (qv) and _Quantum of Solace (2008)_ (qv). This makes him only the second actor in the history of the Bond franchise to play the role more than once. 'David Hedison' (qv) had previously played the role twice, in _Live and Let Die (1973)_ (qv) and _Licence to Kill (1989)_ (qv). Unlike Hedison, he played the role twice in a row, in two consecutive films. Hedison's two appearances were separated by 16 years, 8 films, and one other actor ('John Terry (I)' (qv)).
- Attended New York University on a theatre scholarship, but dropped out after only two months to act full time.
- Graduated from prestigious St. Albans School for Boys in Washington, DC.
- In 2006, became the second African American to play Felix Leiter in an official James Bond film.
- His cousin, Brian Wright, was the boy who portrayed young 'Basquiat' at the beginning of that film. The production team needed a child to portray Basquiat who also looked like Jeffrey Wright. Because of this, Jeffrey asked his cousin to do the job.
- Has one son, Elijah.
- He received an honorary degree from Amherst College in 2004.