The first thing many notice when looking at N’bushe Wright is her gorgeous big eyes. 26 years since starring as Delilah Benson in “Dead Presidents,” she remains looking youthful as ever, aging like fine wine.
Wright first started her career in the entertainment industry as a dancer, training at the prestigious studios of Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham. She then studied acting for a year at Stella Adler’s studio in New York before auditioning for Anthony Drazan’s debut film “Zebrahead” in 1992.
HER FIRST ACTING GIG
Thanks to her talent, the actress won the role of the movie’s female lead, Nikki, a student caught up in an interracial triangle at an inner-city high school. That same year, she made her TV debut in “I’ll Fly Away,” which lasted a year.
The series was considered monumental, as it revolved around the American civil rights movement. She appeared as Claudia, a young activist who risked going to jail to fight for her right to equal education.
A STAPLE IN THE INDUSTRY
Her second feature film was Boaz Yakin’s “Fresh” in 1994, and a year later, she starred in “Dead Presidents” as Delilah, a young woman who participates in an armored car heist. She acted alongside Larenz Tate, and they played comrades.
The movie followed Tate and a gang of veterans who attempt to rob an armored car full of money, or “dead presidents” as the movie title mentions. Meanwhile, Wright plays a naive teen who ends up becoming a black-power activist.
STARRING ON “BLADE”
In 1998, she starred as Dr. Daren Jenson in “Blade,” a superhero horror movie revolving around a vampire-slaying daywalker. It is based on the Marvel Comics superhero of the same name, a human with vampire strengths that hunted down vampires.
The movie, which was a commercial success grossing $131.2 million worldwide, had Wright’s talents on display for people around the world. Due to her performance as a supporting cast member, she earned nationwide recognition. She went on to star in several other projects until 2003 before leaving the industry.
Many of Wright’s roles had themes of activism, and she once revealed that growing up in a Muslim household, where there was a steady stream of brothers coming and going, prepared her for it. Her experiences made way for her stellar performance, which is imprinted in many others – some, quite literally.
21savage, a rapper with 12.6 million followers on Instagram, had her face tattooed on his arm, something that Wright said humbled and honored her, but also creeped her out a little. She shared three other photos from other people who tattooed her face on their bodies as inspired by “Dead Presidents.”
In an interview back in 1995, she shared that she’s talked to “some actual Black Panthers,” went to see “Foxy Brown,” and other Pam Grier movies she could sneak into at the time. At the time, the beautiful young woman was dating Orlando Magic basketball star, Shaquille O’Neal.
Their relationship did not last, and since then, not a lot has been known about her personal life. She likes to keep things under wraps, but she continues to update her fans by posting on Instagram.
WRIGHT’S INSTAGRAM UPDATES
On September 6, 2021, she shared a series of photos from her pre-birthday celebration. She wore a gorgeous pink number which included a lace bralette and a tulle skirt. She posed alongside her friends, even sharing a video of herself dancing around with people on the street.
In a couple of photos, she had dollar bills strapped on one side of her bralette. She explained that strangers kept giving her money, and she ended up with so many bills by the time she got home.
The actress seems to be quite a fan of big bikes, as she also shared several photos of herself posing on a black motorcycle. In her caption, she revealed that she took a midnight ride, before asking her followers if anyone wanted to ride with her.
Due to her private nature, there have been no reports or proof of Wright ever getting married or having children. However, if there’s one thing she opened up about regarding her personal life, it’s the loss of her father back in 2011.
A FAMILY TRAGEDY
Her dad, Stanley Wright, was a Brooklyn jazz musician who went missing for a week. His family, who all lived away from him, were alarmed after they couldn’t get in touch with him. His son, Khalil, called the police to search his Brownsville home.
Unfortunately, the 61-year-old was found dead in a large storage trunk in his own basement. In the end, signs of foul play were everywhere at the crime scene. A back window had been shattered, the home was a complete mess, and his gray Jeep was missing.
REMEMBERING HER DAD
Stanley, who performed under the stage name Suleiman-Hakim, played the bass, piano, and drums. He was once a teacher at a Brooklyn public school and was providing music lessons to kids for an extremely affordable price up until his untimely death.
Although his loved ones believed that someone who knew him did the attack against him, they put the issue to rest and mourned him quietly. At the time, only their relatives had much to say about it, while Wright herself stayed silent.
10 years after her father’s gruesome death, the actress finally opened up about it on Instagram. She said that since many have been asking about her father’s death and how she’s coped, it’s been a “spiritual, psychological, emotional, and physical healing” for her.
Many supported her in her post, which showed her dancing happily on the street. Others shared that they too have learned to bring in positive energy while learning to cope with a loved one’s passing.