Jeffrey Wright is an actor best known for his roles in Tony Kushner’s play “Angels in America” and Julian Schanbel’s film “Basquiat.” Born in Washington D.C., Wright attended Amherst College, where he received a bachelor’s degree in political science. Afterwards he changed course, moving to New York to pursue acting rather than law school. His first big break came in 1994 with his Tony-winning portrayal of the gay nurse Norman “Belize” Arriaga in the Pulizer Prize-winning “Angels in America.” In 1996 he had another breakout performance on the big screen, portraying the late painter Jean-Michel Basquiat in Julian Schnabel’s biopic.
Wright has gone on to perform in such movies as Woody Allen’s “Celebrity,” Ang Lee’s “Ride With the Devil,” Stephen Gaghan’s “Syriana,” Jim Jarmusch’s “Broken Flowers,” Oliver Stone’s biopic “W.,” “Boycott” in which he gave an award-winning performance as Martin Luther King, Jr., and both James Bond movies starring Daniel Craig.
In 2007, Wright co-founded the non-profit organization Taia Peace Foundation, whose mission is “to assist rural African communities in overcoming the so-called ‘resource curse.’”