Jurnee Smollett-Bell

Jurnee Smollett was born on October 1, 1986. She is an award-winning American actress who embarked on her acting career at the young age of six. She made her acting debut in an episode of “Martin” in 1992 and landed her first film role in 1996 in the comedy-drama “Jack.” The young actress won her first award in 1997 for her performance in the film “Eve’s Bayou” and went on to win several more awards and nominations. Smollett is also well-known for her role in Tyler Perry’s high-profile film “Temptations: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor.” There’s much to celebrate about this stunning and talented mother of one. We’re celebrating her birthday here!

Fast Facts

Full Name:

Jurnee Diana Smollett

Birth date:

October 1, 1986



Zodiac Sign:



5' 6"

Relationship Status:


Net Worth:

$6 million

Social Media:


Jurnee Smollett, an award-winning actress well-known for her role in Tyler Perry’s “Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor,” had a natural talent for acting since childhood. Born on October 1, 1986, in New York City, Smollett landed her very first acting role in 1992, at the young age of six, in an episode of “Martin” alongside Martin Lawrence and in “Out All Night.” She later landed her first recurring role in the family sitcoms “Full House” and “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper.” Between 1994 and 1995, she co-starred alongside her siblings in the ABC sitcom “On Our Own.” The young, rising actress made her silver screen debut in 1996 at the age of 10 in a comedy-drama called “Jack” alongside prominent actors such as Jennifer Lopez and Robin Williams.

In 1997, she starred in her first award-winning film, “Eve’s Bayou,” for which she won a Critics’ Choice Award and was nominated for an N.A.A.C.P. Image Award. In 1998, she proudly won two NAACP Image Awards for her performance in the CBS sitcom “Cosby.” Between the years 2000 and 2005, she starred in several more films, such as “Beautiful Joe,” “Ruby’s Bucket of Blood,” and “Roll Bounce.” In 2007, Smollett won another N.A.A.C.P. Image Award for ‘Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture’ for her performance in “The Great Debaters,” produced by Oprah Winfrey. In 2013, Smollett went on to star in a high-profile Tyler Perry film called “Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor.” In the same year and in 2014, she starred in the HBO series “True Blood.” She was also cast as the lead character in the period drama “Underground,” set in 1857.

Smollett’s more recent performances are in the 2020 “Birds of Prey” film and the “Lovecraft Country” series. The stunning actress married musician Josiah Bell and had their first son in 2016. However, the couple divorced in 2020.

Career timeline

Smollett’s First Acting Role

She lands her first acting role, alongside Martin Lawrence, in an episode of "Martin."

She Lands Her First Film Role

She makes her film debut in a comedy-drama called “Jack” alongside prominent actors, such as Jennifer Lopez and Robin Williams.

She Wins Her First Award

She stars in her first award-winning film, "Eve’s Bayou," and wins the Critics' Choice Award.

Her N.A.A.C.P. Image Award

Smollett wins an N.A.A.C.P. Image Award for ‘Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture.’

Why We Love Jurnee Smollett-Bell

  1. She’s an exceptional actress

    Have you seen her in “Temptations: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor”? Her acting in this film, among many others, is exceptional. Smollett is the kind of actress who will have you feeling every emotion with her!

  2. She’s an active supporter of HIV/AIDS causes

    Smollett has been involved in HIV/AIDS causes and organizations since the age of 11. She found out about the disease when a crew member from “On Our Own” died from it. She taught sex education when she was a teenager to fellow teenagers and became part of the board of directors for the Artists for a New South Africa organization.

  3. She also supports the Children’s Defense Fund

    Smollett is on the Board of Directors for the Children’s Defense Fund, which is a non-profit organization focused on child advocacy and research.

5 Surprising Facts

  1. She describes her nationality as ‘blewish’

    Smollett is half Jewish and half African American, so she came up with the term ‘blewish’ for her nationality to avoid offending either one.

  2. She’s good at math and negotiating

    When Smollett was 11 years old, she was the one who kept the family’s bookkeeping and picked up on good math and negotiating skills.

  3. She met Nelson Mandela

    She’s been active in social courses and community services since a young age and became the youngest board member of Artists for a New South Africa who had the chance to meet Mandela.

  4. She met her best friend on set

    Her best friend is writer Misha Green whom she met on set for the making of “Lovecraft Country.”

  5. She has six siblings

    Smollett is the fourth out of six children who all turned out to be fellow actors, singers, or entrepreneurs.

Jurnee Smollett-Bell FAQs

Are Jurnee and Jessie Smollett twins?

No, they are not twins. There is a four-year age difference between the two.

How do you pronounce ‘Jurnee?’

It’s pronounced like ‘journey.’

Was Jurnee Smollett in “Grey’s Anatomy?”

Smollett played Beth Monroe in season four of “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Jurnee Smollett-Bell’s birthday dates

2024October 1Tuesday
2025October 1Wednesday
2026October 1Thursday
2027October 1Friday
2028October 1Sunday

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