Fans of the hit HBO show Angels in America may need no introduction to know who Jeffrey Wright is. Also, more fans have come to notice him from his later roles including as Beetee in The Hunger Games films and as Benard Lowe in Westworld.
Wright launched his show business career in the 1990s and began to gain a lot of momentum midway through the 2000s. For his role in Angels in America, the actor earned an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award. He had originally played the role in a Broadway production of the miniseries, earning a Tony Award. Wright is one of those privy stars whose film characters are better-recognized than his real self. Here is his story.
Jeffrey Wright Bio (Ethnicity)
Jeffrey Wright was born on December 7, 1965, in Washington, D.C. He is obviously African-American, though he doesn’t feel much like one in Hollywood. Additionally, he is of Hispanic descent. Wright’s mother was a legal practitioner who worked as a customs lawyer. Unfortunately for Wright, he lost his dad when he was just a kid, and as a result, his mom was tasked with the responsibility of raising him alone.
Jeffrey Wright attended an independent college prep school for boys, St. Albans School and later a private arts liberal college, Amherst College. He graduated with a degree in political science. Post-college, Wright planned to follow in his mother’s footsteps to become a lawyer but he soon changed his mind to focus on acting. He enrolled at the New York University, but two months later, he dropped out to actively pursue a career in acting.
Starting out in Washington DC, and New York City, Wright began appearing in off-Broadway productions and soon transitioned to film and TV. For his debut film role, he played an attorney in 1990’s Presumed Innocent and one can say that his mom’s legal side really did rub off on him. The film starred the likes of Harrison Ford. Wright’s small screen debut came a year later in the TV film, Separate but Equal.
Wright would go on to simultaneously appear in both films and TV shows. However, his first critical acclaim came from a theatrical role. He played a gay nurse in the Broadway production of Angels in America, earning his first ever accolade, a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play.
The actor earned critical praise for his role in the 1996 film, Basquiat. He won big with roles in Ride with the Devil (1999), Shaft (2000), Boycott (2001), Angels in America (2003), and Broken Flowers (2005). Jeffrey Wright has starred alongside Daniel Craig in three films including two James Bond films; Casino Royale (2006) and Quantum of Solace (2008), as well as The Invasion (2007).
Jeffrey Wright continues to build his filmography both in the silver screen and in TV.
He may not be one of the most popular faces in the industry but Jeffrey Wright has starred in some critically and commercially acclaimed gigs that have seen him smile to the bank a lot, for instance, his role in The Hunger Games film series which started with 2013’s Catching Fire. Thus, his net worth is estimated at $7 million.
Jeffrey Wright was married to fellow actor Carmen Elizabeth Ejogo for fourteen years. They got married in the year 2000 and divorced in 2014. Their union produced two kids, a son named Elijah and a daughter named Juno.
Before Wright, Ejogo was previously married to English record producer and musician Adrian Nicholas Mathews better known as Tricky. Their marriage lasted for barely a year in 1998.
Wright’s ex-wife is British. She was born on 22 October 1973 in Kensington, London, England, to a Nigerian father Charles Ejogo (now deceased) and a Scottish mother, Elizabeth Douglas. Carmen has a younger brother Charles Ejogo who, like their father, is an entrepreneur. Charles is famed for having invented the Umbrolly umbrella vending machine. The innovation won him £150,000 funding from the BBC’s show, Dragons’ Den.
Carmen Ejogo has appeared in many TV series including; Kidnapped, CHAOS, Zero Hour. Some of her films include Selma and Born to Be Blue. Wright and Carmen starred together in Boycott. In addition to acting, Carmen is also a musician and has collaborated with a number of artists beginning from the 90s.
1. Jeffrey Wright stands at 5 feet 11 inches tall.
2. One of his trademarks is his deep smooth voice.
3. His Alma mater, Amherst College, gave him an honorary degree in 2004.
4. Wright was the first African-American to play the role of Felix Leiter in a James Bond film.
5. He is an active advocate for ethical and sustainable mining and does so via his Taia Lion Resources established in 2011.