J. Madison Wright Morris
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|Born||Jessica Madison Wright
July 29, 1984
|Died||July 21, 2006
|Other names||Madison Wright|
|Spouse(s)||Brent Joseph Morris
(m.July 8 - July 21, 2006; her death)
She was born to parents Scott and Melissa, and had a younger sister Victoria and two younger brothers Isaiah and Elijah. Madison's showbiz career initially started, at aged five, as a child model and she even won a summer contract to model in New York. It was there where she experienced her first taste of acting in television adverts. The Wright family relocated to Los Angeles in order to pursue Madison's blooming acting career and, in 1994, she had her acting debut in the comedy Grace Under Fire, then aged nine years old.
A few months later, her big break came when she was personally cast in the role of ten-year-old True Danziger in the science-fiction show Earth 2 by producer Steven Spielberg. The show only lasted one season, airing between 1994–1995, and Madison moved onto other projects, including to portray a sick child in the Emmy-nominated episode of ER, where incidentally she played the first child character to die in the show's history. Her other roles included the family film Shiloh, the science-fiction film The Warlord: Battle for the Galaxy, The Burning Zone and the 1998 Disney film Safety Patrol.
Later life and death
By 1999, Madison left her acting career and her family moved back to their home town in Kentucky. After repeated bouts of pneumonia and general ill-health, a chest X-ray revealed that she was suffering from restrictive cardiomyopathy, a condition that required her to receive a heart transplant. The then fifteen-year-old was on the donor waiting list for a short term before she was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic in March 2000, where she received the transplant. Clancy Brown, the actor who played the screen father of Madison's character in Earth 2, led an appeal to raise money to cover the medical insurance costs that the Wrights were struggling to cope with.
Madison quickly recovered back to good health and, between concentrating on her school work and enjoying cheerleading in her extracurricular time, she began giving talks to various groups highlighting the importance of organ donation. After finishing at South Laurel High School, she then went to attend the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg to study English before studying for her teaching credentials. Once graduating from university in summer 2006, Madison planned to begin a job teaching English to tenth grade children at George Rogers Clark High School, located in Winchester, Kentucky.
Just as her academic life flourished, her social life did as well. On July 8, 2006, Madison married Brent Joseph Morris, a University of Kentucky medical student. The couple honeymooned in Hawaii for two weeks. A day after she returned, Madison fell ill and was admitted to the University of Kentucky Medical Center where she died on July 21, 2006 of a heart attack, only eight days shy of her twenty-second birthday. Her funeral was held at Corinth Baptist Church in London, Kentucky, the same church she was married in, before being buried at A. R. Dyche Memorial Park.
She died just sixteen days after her Shiloh co-star Amzie Strickland, who died on July 5, 2006 at the age of 87.
- Safety Patrol (1998)
- The Warlord: Battle for the Galaxy (1998)
- The Burning Zone (1997)
- Shiloh (1996)
- ER (1995)
- The Secretary (1995)
- Earth 2 (1994)
- The Nanny (1994)
- Grace Under Fire (1994)