Tanya Wright's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles
Deputy Kenya Jones
Officer Maya Anderson
Commanding attention with her looks, intellect and chameleon-like ability to "absorb" roles, Wright quickly gained momentum on the small screen by moving from guest-spots to recurring stints to becoming a familiar face to television audiences. She then segued to playing flirtatious rookie cop Maya Anderson on "NYPD BLUE" to presidential assistant Patty Brooks on "24." She also appeared as FBI agent Marcy Westerfield opposite Emmy-award winner Joe Pantoliano as a cast member of CBS's "The Handler," where she assumed a new "street" character weekly.
Following a summer participating in the prestigious Williamstown Theatre Festival, Wright relocated from NYC to Los Angeles, where she began building her resume. She has enjoyed recurring roles on ground-breaking comedies including "Moesha," and the ABC series "Buddies," as Dave Chapelle's wife, Phyllis. Additionally, she appeared in Alex Haley's mini-series "Mama Flora's Family" opposite Cicely Tyson, and starred in the Morgan Freeman-produced NBC feature,"Mutiny," the fact-based story of African-American sailors convicted of an alleged mutiny in the Forties. She has also performed in a diverse array of theater productions, and recently made her feature film debut in the urban comedy "The Brothers."
Once Wright settled into her new L.A. life, she began to write, motivated by an absence of challenging roles for African American women. Her screenplay, "A Turn to Grace," a drama set against the Harlem Renaissance, was a semi-finalist in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' annual Nicholl's Screenwriting Competition and landed her literary representation. Likewise, the Mark Taper Forum's Blacksmyth's Playwriting Program accepted and performed her "Prelude to a Revolution." With a new screenplay completed and a children's cartoon taking shape, Wright acts, writes and has several series and features in various stages of production under her Black Butterfly, Inc. banner.
A native of the Bronx, New York, Wright, a highly intuitive and independent woman, figuratively grew up with her mother who was 15 years of age when she gave birth to the first of four children. It was her grandmother's support and loving guidance that served as the cornerstone of her youth. While her mother earned graduate degrees and became a health care professional, she and her younger sister received scholarships to the George School in Pennsylvania, a Quaker boarding school. Wright then completed an independent/writing major at Vassar College.
Though her schedule is packed, Wright is diligent about maintaining both physical and spiritual balance in her life. She includes in her weekly routine, time for exercise, dance and yoga, social get-together, and lending support to mentoring projects and the Los Angeles Mission.
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