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Jurnee Smollett

An actress and singer known for delivering heartfelt and energetic performances, Jurnee Smollett's talent continues to evolve with each new project.

Smollett made her breakthrough performance and was voted one of the five Hollywood stars to watch in the millennium by Interview Magazine, when she starred in Kasi Lemmon's critically acclaimed Eve's Bayou. Smollett portrayed Eve" a young girl who during the course of one summer opens a Pandora's Box of family secrets. Starring opposite Samuel L. Jackson, Smollett's performance earned her a Broadcast Film Critics Award for Best Youth Performance.

Smollett recently starred in Malcolm D. Lee's Roll Bounce with Bow Wow, Nick Cannon which garnered her rave reviews from USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, Daily Variety and The New York Daily News among others for her portrayal of Tori, the endearing friend who goes from braces to beautiful over the course of the film. Smollett also starred in Phil Joanou's Gridiron Gang, opposite The Rock as well as Stephen Metcalfe's Beautiful Joe opposite Sharon Stone.

On television, Smollett starred on the Comedy Central series, Wanda at Large with Wanda Sykes. Other guest starring appearances include roles on House, E.R. and Strong Medicine. She also appeared in the made for television movies, Ruby's Bucket of Blood with Angela Bassett as well as receiving rave reviews for her starring role in The Wonderful World Of Disney's Selma Lord Selma, when she brought to the small screen the true-to-life story of Sheyann Webb, a determined, outspoken little girl, who befriended Dr. Martin Luther King during the 60's voter rights movement.

In addition, Smollett starred with Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad on the CBS sitcom, Cosby. For her work on the series, Smollett won NAACP Image Awards in 2000 and 1999, as well as a Vision Award in 1999. Smollett also received much critical acclaim for her guest starring role as the daughter of an activist who is brutally murdered in NYPD Blue. She began her television acting career at the age of four with a recurring role on Full House, later reviving the character for a season of Hangin' with Mr. Cooper. She followed by starring on the 1994-1995 ABC comedy, On Our Own with her real life sister and four brothers.

In addition to acting and singing, Smollett is the youngest board member of Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA), a nonprofit organization working in the U.S and South Africa to combat HIV/AIDS, advance human rights and equality, safeguard voting rights, assist, educate, and empower children orphaned by AIDS as well as other at-risk youth. Smollett has been involved with ANSA since the age of 11 and in March 2006 became ANSA's pioneer presenter for Positively Speaking, a program of the Los Angeles Unified School District HIV/AIDS Prevention Unit that brings people who are infected or affected by the disease into middle and high school classes to tell their own stories and lead discussions. Smollett has traveled to South Africa through her efforts with ANSA and met with Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, among others.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2008.
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Jurnee Smollett Facts

OccupationActress, Musician
BirthdayOctober 1, 1986 (35)
BirthplaceNew York, New York, USA
Height5' 9" (1m75)  How tall is Jurnee Smollett compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Hands of Stone
Eve's Bayou
The Great Debaters
Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions of A Marriage Counselor
Fools For Love
I Saw Gina Kissing Santa Claus
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