Beautiful N'Bushe Wright started out as a dancer, trained at the prestigious Alvin Ailey Dance Center and the Martha Graham School of Dance, but then switched to acting, enrolling at Stella Adler's studio. Within a year, Wright was starring in Anthony Drazan's Zebrahead (1992). That year, she won the recurring role of Claudia, a black civil rights activist fighting for equal opportunities in education in the acclaimed but short-lived NBC television drama I'll Fly Away. She received positive reviews for her moving portrayal of the drug-addicted older sister of the title protagonist in Boaz Yakin's Fresh (1994). The following year, Wright played an idealistic Black Panther in the Hughes Brothers Dead Presidents (1995). A native of New York City, she is the daughter of jazzman Suleiman-Marim and a Board of Education psychologist. Wright attended the Manhattan High School for the Performing Arts.