Jeffrey Wright is one step closer to that EGOT. In January, the D.C. born actor received his first career Oscar nomination for his leading role in the satirical comedy “American Fiction,” an industry recognition that was overdue after years of incredible Wright performances. Should he win come ceremony day, he’ll need a single Grammy to become one of the few elusive talents to complete showbiz’s preeminent grand slam.

Starting his career in theater, Wright earned both his Tony and Emmy awards with the same role: Belize, a nurse and former drag queen in Tony Kushner’s acclaimed two-part epic play “Angels in America.” Wright earned raves for his charisma onstage, and walked away with a Supporting Actor Tony at the 1994 ceremony when he was just 28. In 2003, Wright was the only actor from the play’s original Broadway cast to reprise his role in the HBO limited series adaptation. He received equal acclaim for his reprised work, and beat out three of his costars to win Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries at the Emmys.

Wright’s dual wins for the same part reflects the consistent, reliable quality of his performances. A veteran actor, he’s always a wonderful presence in whatever project he appears in, portraying diverse people with specificity and nuance. That said, he tends to bring that talent to supporting characters — with the exception of great lead showcases in “Basquiat” and “Ride With the Devil” — as a part of large, impressive ensembles, such as his great work in Wes Anderson films like “The French Dispatch” and “Asteroid City.” He’s become a familiar face in franchise fare like “The Hunger Games” or “James Bond” series, but always in roles that don’t leave a ton of room to showcase his skills.

As Wright has matured and transitioned into elder-statesman types, he’s found juicier roles to go along with them. He received acclaim and Emmy nominations three seasons in a row for his performance on the HBO reboot of “Westworld,” where he played an artificial intelligence programmer… sort of. And in “American Fiction,” Wright found one of the most plum star vehicles of his career: a two-hour comedy that casts him as a cynical academic, whose book parodies the way Black art is treated by white literary executives and becomes an unexpected monster hit. His weary, pitch-perfect comedic performance demonstrates all of the talents Wright brings to the table, and affirms the star-quality that’s been evident in his film and TV work from the very beginning.

In celebration of Wright’s first Oscar nomination, IndieWire decided to look back at the great actor’s prior performances to determine what stands out as the best of the best. This list includes both Wright’s film work and television roles; it does not include his work in theater. Entries are ranked based on the quality of Wright’s performance, rather than on the overall strength of the film or TV show itself. With that said, read on for Jeffrey Wright’s ten best performances, ranked.

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