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30 Fantastic Facts About Jurnee Smollett That Every Fan Must Know

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Jurnee Smollett
(Photo : Penpusher)

Jurnee Smollett, one of the actresses who are taking the Hollywood by storm, has been acting, since she was 10 months old. Be it as a child characters like Denise Frazer or the lovable head-strong characters like Black Canary, she makes sure to give a flawless performance, leaving the audience wanting more of it. Still, despite having seen her for decades on the big screen as well as in TV series, there are many things about the actress that even die-hard fans might have missed. In fact, although her entire family is working in the film industry, they have managed to keep their private life under wraps. Here are some really interesting facts about her that will make you love her even more:

    _HHM4721"_HHM4721" by studio08denver is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

  1.  Her performance as a 10-year old Eve in the 1997 movie “Eve’s Bayou,” earned her critical acclaim, as well as the Critic's Choice Award and a nomination for a NAACP Image Award.
  2.  She was also the recipient of the San Diego Film Critics Society Awards – Best Supporting Actress for the same role in the year 1997.
  3.  Smollett is on the Board of Directors of Artists for a New South Africa, an organization dedicated to HIV/AIDS in Africa. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Children’s Defense Fund.
  4.  It was said that she underwent severe training for six months, for her role as Black Canary in the 2020 movie “Birds of Prey.”
  5.  She also does her own signing in the movie, which also marks the first instance for Smollett to officially sign in her entire career.
  6.  Jurnee Diana Smollett was born on October 1, 1986 to Joel Smollett and Janet Harris in New York City. She is the fourth of six children, who are all actors.
  7.  Her father was Ashkenazi Jewish and is of Romania, Russia and Poland ancestry, while her mother is an African American. She describes herself as “Blewish: Black + Jewish.”
  8.  She has one sister Jazz Smollett, famous for the hit series “Living By Design,” and four brothers – Jussie Smollett, famous as Jamal Lyon in “Empire,” Jake Smollett, Jojo Smollett and Jocqui Smollett.
  9.  Her father was absent for a significant portion of her childhood, busy with his work. When she was around 3 years old, the family moved to Los Angeles from New York City.
  10.  Her very first acting role was a diaper model in a commercial, when she was just 10 months old. By the age of 3, she received her Screen Actors Guild card.
  11. PA Temple University. Philadelphia 9-13-08. National Step Show Competition."PA Temple University. Philadelphia 9-13-08. National Step Show Competition." by Barack Obama is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

  12.  It was around this time, that Jurnee as a three year old, was featured in a Pepsi TV commercial with the National Football League Hall of Famer Joe Montana.
  13.  In the year 1992, she started her acting career with minor roles on “Martin” and “Out All Night,” along with other recurring roles in “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper.”
  14.  She gained recognition for her role as Denise Frazer, Michelle’s best friend on the sitcom “Full House,” appearing in 14 episodes.
  15.  From 1994 to 1995, she, along with her five brothers and sister, starred in the short-lived ABC sitcom “On Our Own,” as siblings who lost their parents in a tragic accident.
  16.  At the age of 7, she had her first encounter with the deadly disease HIV/AIDS, when a crew member of the sitcom “On Our Own,” died of AIDS.
  17.  From the age of 11, she has been active in HIV/AIDS causes, and had worked with HIV/AIDS survivor Hydeia Broadbent, to spread awareness, including the Black AIDS Institute and Red Cross.
  18.  In the year 1996, she made her big-screen debut in the Francis Ford Coppola movie “Jack,” in the role of Phoebe, which was well received by the critics as well as audience.
  19.  It was said that Bill Cosby spoke to director Tyler Perry about Smollett’s performance as a child actor, and had advised him to pay close attention to her.
  20.  Perry went to have her cast in the lead role of Judith in his 2013 drama “Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor.”
  21.  During the filming of episode 9 – “Rewind 1921” of the first season of “Lovecraft Country,” she accidentally got too close to the fire and burned her arm.
  22. PA Temple University. Philadelphia 9-13-08. National Step Show Competition."PA Temple University. Philadelphia 9-13-08. National Step Show Competition." by Barack Obama is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

  23.  However, she kept on filming, and just as the take was completed, she ran off the set. Creator Misha Green, immediately got her to a hospital to treat the burns.
  24.  For her performance as Rosalee in the WGN America period drama series “Underground,” she was nominated for Black Reel Awards for Television – Outstanding Actress, Drama Series, NAACP Image Awards – Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series.
  25.  She was featured as Juanita Leonard, the wife of boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, in the 2016 biographical “Hands of Stone” alongside Usher and Robert De Niro.
  26.  She portrayed Samantha Booke, the sole female debater at Wiley College in the 2007 movie “The Great Debaters,” and won the NAACP Image Awards – Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture.
  27.  She married her best friend - musician Josiah Bell on October 24, 2010, in a small wedding ceremony, at a Los Angeles botanical garden. The couple welcomed their first child – a son named Hunter, born on October 31, 2016.
  28.  However, the duo faced difficulties lately, and their nearly decade long marriage ended when Smollett filed for a divorce, in March 2020.
  29.  During the filming of the second season of the TV series “Underground,” she became pregnant, following which her pregnancy was written into the story too.
  30.  In the early 2021, she had wrapped production on the Netflix original film, "Escape From Spiderhead" alongside Chris Hemsworth and Miles Teller, expected to be released the same year.
  31.  With her performance as Letitia 'Leti' Lewis in the TV series “Lovecraft Country,” she won the Critics Choice Super Awards – Best Actress in a Horror Series.
  32.  Her role as Jurnee in CBS sitcom “Cosby” earned her two NAACP Image Awards – “Outstanding Youth Actor/Actress” in the year 1999 as well as 2000.
  33.  Jurnee Smollett Net Worth: $2 Million

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