Born on this day in 1965, Jeffrey Wrightâ€™s long list of characters ranges from a straight-laced attorney in Presumed Innocent to the tortured street artist Jean Michel Basquiat in Julian Schnabelâ€™s biopic of the â€™80s pop art icon. Wrightâ€™s awards have an equally expansive range, from Tony to Golden Globe to Emmyâ€”all for his acclaimed turn as the gay nurse, Belize, in the stage and TV adaptations of Tony Kushnerâ€™s Angels in America. Having worked steadily in both film and theater since the early 1990s, Wright has established himself as one of the most talentedâ€”though sadly underappreciatedâ€”actors of his generation. His latest film roles include Syriana, The Manchurian Candidate and Casino Royale.
Quotable: â€œThe white cracker who wrote the National Anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word â€˜freeâ€™ to a note so high nobody could reach it. That was deliberate.â€ Jeffrey Wright as Belize in Angels in America.