Tanya Wright

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Tanya Wright
Tanya Patrice Wright

(1971-05-03) May 3, 1971 (age 47)
OccupationActress, author
Years active1986–present

Tanya Patrice Wright (born May 3, 1971) is an American actress and author, known for her starring on Buddies as Phyllis Brooks, as well as her recurring roles on 24 as Patty Brooks, NYPD Blue as Officer Maya Anderson, on True Blood as Deputy Kenya Jones, and as Crystal on the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black. Wright's first audition landed her first job as Theo's girlfriend on The Cosby Show when she was a teenager.


Over the course of her career, Tanya made the decision to start wearing her hair naturally.[1] Tanya wrote a book entitled Butterfly Rising,[2] which was released on August 5, 2012.[3] Tanya is also a screenwriter, having written the screenplay for her book, for which she will also be directing and producing.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Tanya Wright was born in The Bronx.[5] Tanya is an alumna of the Oliver Scholars Program and graduated high school from George School, a private Quaker school. She majored in English at Vassar College.[4]


Year Film Role Notes
1998 Mama Flora's Family Ernestine
1999 Mutiny Role Unknown
2001 The Brothers LaMuzindah
2005 Ralph & Stanley Dr. Reynolds Short
2010 Butterfly Rising Rose
2011 Aide-de-Camp Anna Short
2012 Why Stop Now Lisa
Beyond Control Tina Currently in post-production
Year Title Role Notes
1986 The Cosby Show Tanya Simpson Two Episodes: The Card Game and Man Talk
1991 Parker Lewis Can't Lose Girlfriend One Episode: Boy Meets Girl
1994 Beverly Hills, 90210 Assistant One Episode: Intervention
1995 Living Single Tanya One Episode: If the Crew Fits
Family Matters India One Episode: We're Going to Disney World: Part 2
1996 The Wayans Bros. Toya One Episode: The Odd Couples
Buddies Phyllis Brooks Thirteen Episodes:
The Jamie Foxx Show Casey Coles Five Episodes:
1999 Moesha Andrea Good Vibrations? and Fired Up
2000–2001 The District Laura Clayson and Annette Haywood One Episode: Imperfect Victims and Running Towards Fire
2001–2002 24 Patty Brooks Eight Episodes:
2002 NYPD Blue Officer Maya Anderson Six Episodes: Better Laid than Never: Part I, Better Laid than Never: Part II, Ho Down, You've Got Mail, One in the Nuts and Maya Con Dios
2003–2004 The Handler Marcy Sixteen Episodes:
2004 Strong Medicine Lily's Mother One Episode: Touched by an Idol
2006 The War at Home Adrienne One Episode: It's a Living (Part 2)
Windfall Dr. Bailey One Episode: Urgent Care
2007 ER Megan Strand One Episode: Sea Change
Standoff Diana Marsh One Episode: Lie to Me
2008–2012,2014 True Blood Deputy Kenya Jones


2013–present Orange Is the New Black Crystal recurring
2014 The Good Wife Liana Depaul One Episode: Message Discipline


  1. ^ "True Blood Actress Tanya Wright Discusses Her Natural Hair". Transitioning Movement. June 10, 2012. Retrieved December 13, 2012. |first= missing |last= (help)
  2. ^ "Archive for the 'Tanya Wright' Category". Sookie Stackhouse. August 6, 2010. Retrieved December 13, 2011. |first= missing |last= (help)
  3. ^ Butterfly Rising – Tanya Wright. Amazon. ISBN 1453650369.
  4. ^ a b Sanders, Janean (August 9, 2012). "True Blood's Tanya Wright Discusses Her Many Talents and Passions". True Blood Net. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
  5. ^ Wilkov, Jennifer (February 22, 2011). ""Your Book Is Your Hook!" – Actress Tanya Wright's Debut Novel & Operation Virtual Agent". Women's Radio. Retrieved December 13, 2012.

External links[edit]