Wright, a gifted theater actor, was most recently on stage as the lead in John Guare's A Free Man of Color at Lincoln Center, directed by George C. Wolfe, a frequent collaborator. In 2001 and 2002 respectively, he earned an Obie award and a Tony nomination for his work in the play Topdog/Underdog. Wright garnered a Tony Award in 1994 for his portrayal in Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic Angels in America, both also directed by George C. Wolfe. Wright reprised his Angels role in HBO's 2003 mini-series adaption of the play, earning both a Golden Globe and Emmy for his groundbreaking performance.
On film, Wright has portrayed a stunning array of icons and iconoclasts. Wright's brilliant portrayal of the renowned and controversial graffiti artist, Jean Michel Basquiat, in the 1996 film BASQUIAT, received widespread praise from critics and earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination. On the other end of the spectrum, Wright has taken on roles in the 2006 and 2008 James Bond films, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace and also in 2008, starred as Muddy Waters in Cadillac Records and as Colin Powell in Oliver Stone's W. In 2005, he co-starred in the award-winning film Syriana, and his other credits include Jonathan Demme's remake of The Manchurian Candidate; Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers, earning another Independent Spirit Award nomination; Ang Lee's Ride with the Devil, and Shaft. For his portrayal of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in HBO's Boycott, he received a 2001 AFI award.
In addition to acting, Wright serves on the board of directors of the Tribeca Film Institute and on the board of governors of Saint Albans School for Boys. He is active in economic development projects in Africa as chairman of Taia, LLC and Taia Peace Foundation and through his work as a board member of the non-profit organization, All for Africa. Wright was recently named by the Government of Sierra Leone as the 'Peace by Piece' Ambassador for that country's 2011 50th Anniversary Independence Celebration.
Born in Washington, D.C., Wright graduated from Amherst College, receiving a B.A. in political science in 1987 and earned a doctorate of humane letters from his alma mater in 2004. Wright resides in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, actress Carmen Ejogo, and their two children.
Read earlier biographies on this page.
Jeffrey Wright Facts
|Birth Name||Jeffrey Charles Wright|
|Birthday||December 7, 1965 (55)|
|Birthplace||Washington DC, District of Columbia, USA|
|Awards||2004 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie (for Angels in America)|
|2004 Emmy Awards: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie (for Angels in America)|
|Empire Falls (2005)|
|Lackawanna Blues (2005)|
|The Manchurian Candidate (2004)|
|Angels in America (2003)|
|The Warriors (1979)|
|Boycott -movie as Martin Luther King Jr. (breakthrough)|