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J. Madison Wright

J. Madison Wright was an American actress best known for her portrayal of True Danziger on the NBC science-fiction TV series Earth 2 (1994-95).


Biographical fast facts

Full or original name at birth: Jessica Madison Wright

Date and place of birth: July 29, 1984, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.

Date, place and cause of death: July 21, 2006, University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington, Kentucky, U.S.A. (Heart attack)

Marriage
Spouse: Brent Joseph Morris (m. July 8, 2006 - July 21, 2006) (her death)
Wedding took place at the Corinth Baptist Church, London, Laurel County, Kentucky, U.S.A.*

Family/Relatives
Siblings: Isaiah Wright and Elijah Wright (brothers)
Victoria "Tori" Wright (sister)

Parents
Father: Scott Wright
Mother: Melissa McDaniel Wright

Error correction or clarification

* Contrary to what a couple of sources report, Maddie was not married in London, England. As noted above, she was married at the Corinth Baptist Church in London, Kentucky.


Biography

The eldest of four children, J. Madison Wright was raised in London, Laurel County, Kentucky. An open call at age 5 at a Lexington modeling agency led to a summer modeling stint in New York City. The following summer she resumed her modeling career, represented by the prestigious Ford Modeling Agency. While in New York, she got her first taste of acting in an ice cream commercial, and another for the Cinemax cable movie channel. In 1992, she and her family moved to Los Angeles in hopes of getting her acting career off the ground. Just as she had been in demand as a child model, her acting career took off. She made guest appearances on TV's Grace Under Fire, and The Nanny.

Her big break came when she won the role of True Danziger on the sci-fi show
Earth 2. It was none other than Steven Spielberg who personally selected Maddie to appear on the show. Spielberg's company, Amblin Entertainment, was producing the ambitious series which was set 200 years in the future, on a distant Earth-like planet. Earth 2 was a colossal undertaking that ranked among the most expensive shows produced by Universal Television. It was made all the more challenging by virtue of the fact much of the show was shot on rural locations in the Southwest. True Danziger, the character Madison played, was a resourceful, motherless tomboy who assisted her father in maintaining the myriad of high-tech equipment necessary to transport the Earth colonists across a continent to New Pacifica. Their intergalactic expedition from space stations orbiting a dying Earth, ended on the alien world, called G889. Their plans to colonize the planet were sabotaged and their craft eventually crash-landed far from the planned landing site, forcing a ground trip across an alien land inhabited by Terrians, Grendlers, and other strange creatures.

The series had a devoted fan base that proved very vocal when it appeared it was going to be cancelled. In the end,
Earth 2 lasted just a single season, running from 1994-95.

Following the series, she appeared in
The Secretary (1995), ER (1995), Shiloh (1996), The Burning Zone (1997), The Warlord: Battle for the Galaxy (aka The Osiris Chronicles) (1998), and Safety Patrol (1998).

By her mid-teens, Madison was losing interest in acting, so in 1999, she and her family moved back to Kentucky. It was there that she was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a heart muscle disease. Her only hope of recovery was a heart transplant. Clancy Brown, the actor who played True Danziger's father on
Earth 2, led fundraising efforts to pay the substantial medical bills associated with the heart transplant. After a short time on the organ donor waiting list, she received a heart transplant in March 2000, at the age of fifteen.

By all accounts she was able to settle down to a normal life following her successful heart transplant, and began giving talks to various groups highlighting the importance of organ donation.

She graduated from the University of the Cumberlands (previously Cumberland College) in 2006, and was to begin a job teaching 10th-grade English at George Rogers Clark High School in Winchester, Kentucky, that fall.

July 8th, 2006, Maddie became J. Madison Wright Morris, when she married Brent Joseph Morris, a University of Kentucky medical student. The newlyweds honeymooned in Hawaii. The day after she returned from her Hawaiian trip, Jessica Madison Wright Morris had a heart attack. She died July 21st, 2006, at the University of Kentucky Medical Center, in Lexington, Kentucky, just days before her 22nd birthday.

When hundreds of people gathered at her funeral to celebrate her life, and mourn her death, it was at the very same church (Corinth Baptist Church in London, Kentucky) where she had married, little more than two weeks before.

She was survived by her husband, parents, brothers Isaiah Wright and Elijah Wright, her sister Victoria Wright, and various grandparents, great-grandparents, and even a great-great-grandmother.


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