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.
- He received an honorary degree from Amherst College in 2004.
- Graduated from Amherst College in Massachusetts in 1987.
- 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.
- 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.
- Although he alters aspects of his physical appearance for each role, his voice is often unrecognizable from one role to the next. The voices of Belize, with his intelligent, acerbic wit in _"Angels in America" (2003)_ (qv), to Peoples Hernandez whose vicious macho confidence is conveyed through his Latino accent in _Shaft (2000)_ (qv) to Al Melvin _The Manchurian Candidate (2004)_ (qv), whose deep grumblings heartbreakingly represent the state of a destroyed man.
- Graduated from prestigious St. Albans School for Boys in Washington, DC.
- Won Broadway's 1994 Tony Award as Best Actor (Featured Role - Play) for 'Tony Kushner' (qv)'s "Angels In America: Perestroika," a role he recreated in the television mini-series version, _"Angels in America" (2003)_ (qv). In 2002, he was nominated for Tony's Best Actor (Play) Award for "Topdog/Underdog."
- Has appeared in three films with 'Daniel Craig (I)' (qv) in three years, _Casino Royale (2006)_ (qv), _The Invasion (2007)_ (qv) and _Quantum of Solace (2008)_ (qv).