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Friday, December 7, 2007

Milk Carton Alert!


While cruising darkbrotha's blog, I came across a post for "The Five Heartbeats". He had a scene from youtube with this dude, which led me to ask: What the eff happened to Michael Wright?

He and his hoarse, froggy voice were a staple in 90's, thanks to films like "The Five Heartbeats" and "Sugar Hill". He always looked rough to me, like he was half a step away from crackdom. I remember very vividly a line he had in some movie where he screamed "The only place you're gonna be is in a body bag!" at the top of his lungs, and remember it sounded like his larynx was gonna explode any second.

I also remember that I used to go to his mother's restaurant in midtown Manhattan, called Jezebel's (before it got all touristy). I liked it cause it had upscale Southern food, and the place was decorated like a beautiful French bordello.

Anyhoo, I went in there one night with a member of a very famous R&B group and an artist whose video I was styling. The video was for a soundtrack for a movie this Wright guy was in, and he happened to be there hanging out that night with his mom and Wesley Snipes. I went over to the table to tell him about the artist and how it was a coincidence that they were there at the same time, on the same night. He thought it was funny too, and got up to walk over when his mother shoved him back down hard and abruptly in his seat. "Let them come over to meet you" she hissed. Like he was the King of France or something! There was complete shock and silence for almost a full minute. It took all of my strength (for business reasons) not to tell her how completely delusional she was....maybe she was his manager, which would explain why his career is nowhere to be seen.

Looking on IMDB I can see he was a reoccurring character on "Oz". I would not know that, cause even tho I have seen every episode of "The Sopranos" and "The Wire", that ish was too gritty for even me, beautiful chocolate men nonwithstanding. He most recently was in some random movie called "Raving" (2007) playing "Security Guard". Not good. Not quite worthy of a milk carton yet, but he is definitely on his way on the express train.

Here is a scene with him in 'The Five Heartbeats" that I saw on darkbrotha's blog:



Even tho this film is corny to the ninth power, it is a perennial community favorite. Why? In my opinion, it is so very uniquely black, a story that can only be told by us and with us, i.e. the Motown phenom. It combined black music, black drama, black comedy, and black issues into a movie that was easy to digest, and easy to watch. In other words, pre-Tyler Perry, and I ain't mad.


Bonus Milk Carton:

More worthy of this post (both from the Five Heartbeats) are Tico Wells :

(this was the most decent pic I could find)



I know Troy hooked up with Robert Townsend and wrote a couple of movies, most notably "B.A.P.S." and more recently "Love Don't Cost A Thing". But what's up since then? She seems to have fallen into the Rae Dawn Chong realm. And Tico? Complete and utter silence on his career front. Maybe he should have used that big magic third leg my girlfriend said he had (oops, did I say that?). Who knew?

Extra, extra bonus:

Here is the video that I styled, that I just found on youtube looking for "Sugar Hill". Bear in mind that she refused to wear anything I asked her to, and I was only responsible for her leather coat in one scene (her best outfit by the way). If she would have listened to me maybe she'd still be around! haha

12 comments:

Danielle said...

It may have been corney, but I loved "The Five heartbeats". Where is Harry Lennox?

I've been to Jezebels as well and loved the decor. Damn! I realize how many people I haven't seen in ages.

LaJane Galt said...

*nights like this I wiiiish... that raindrops would faa-aa-aaa-aallll*

Thembi said...

IW, you NAILED this post. Even more props for bothering with either of them - we should join up one day or at least cross-link my c-listers with your milk cartons - c list plus d list...sounds like a new C&D has been born...

Michael Wright - "He always looked rough to me, like he was half a step away from crackdom." - I could NOT agree with you more! Having an obligation to all things HBO (except that Western ish), I DID watch him in OZ and he was a stuttering crickety-crackish freak, both by nature and by the character he played. You know how just seeing some characters makes you kind of nervous and uncomfortable? He was that guy. It's funny how when you look crackish you age well because there's simply nowhere to go.

As to Troy Beyer, even I spent 30 minutes trying to track her down after forgetting her name. I always considered her the poor man's Stacey Dash once she was out of her prime, or perhaps a Prince chick made good.

MsMarvalus said...

Man, Five Heartbeats was the ish! I loved-ed it! But you are so true with your words about Michael Wright..."He always looked rough to me, like he was half a step away from crackdom."

So true, so true...

Great post!

belledame222 said...

If she would have listened to me maybe she'd still be around!

betcha!

thanks for the vid, didn't know her--I like her sound.

Invisible Woman said...

@Danielle: jezebel's used to be the place, no? harry lennox might be cause for another milk carton alert....

@lajane: i know, when you see that scene it gets stuck in your head.

Thembi: if you and i blogged together we would OWN the black blog world (either that or get killed by Gabrielle Union, haha)
you and MM are so right...i get itchy just looking at that negro.

thanks for the compliments MM and belledame222 :-)

Thembi said...

IW, it wouldn't even be fair to the faint of heart, the trivia-challenged, or those whose parents made them read instead of watch tv.

ps - looking at Michael Wright makes me more than itchy...Im feeling the need to floss and get a colonic for real...and maybe its just the photo quality but is that ash around his mouth?

Sincere said...

I liked the movie.. wasn't the greatest but was good for a laugh or two.. I like that song they were singing when the cops stopped them. of course the best part was the " I still got it.." scene!! Every movie I've seen him in he's looked busted..hmm typecasting a bit?

Cassandra said...

Michael Wright does look like he is one toenail away from an all0night crackfest.

I tried to find some more things about Troy and nada. The last we heard anything from her was John Q (2002).

Invisible Woman said...

@thembi: all ash, and all him...

@sincere: he is the only responsible for his own typecasting!

@cassandra: I love your researching...one toenail-lol!

k said...

dddaaammmmnnnn !!!
michael wright is so hot, he looked so fine in the five heart beats till he became i drugey.

aj said...

on the serious, michael wright was the greatest black actor of his generation. like many of our greatest artist, when denied the opportunity to manifest our gifts we, seemingly, turn on ourselves. i can't say whether or not he was a nice man. perhaps not. but a talent like his would've been acknowledged had he been white. and genius like his will always eat itself alive if not allowed to flourish. imagine michael jordan not allowed to ball. or deniro stuck in sitcom hell. michael wright single handedly elevated "five heartbeats" above it's corny and condescending conception. check him out in robert altman's "streamers" if u can find it. vanity fair ran a page on him in the mid eighties that said, "is american ready for a black brando?" clearly the answer was no.

aj