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New York City, New York USA
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Jurnee Diana Smollett (born October 1, 1986) is an American actress. Smollett was born in New York City, the daughter of Janet and Joel Smollett. The fourth of six performing siblings, she received critical acclaim for her title role in the finely crafted independent drama Eve`s Bayou (1997). The performance earned her a Young Star Award nomination. The young thespian pulled ahead of her brothers and sisters with her bracing portrayal of a ten-year-old who finds her father (Samuel L. Jackson) in a compromising position. She was just what writer-director Kasi Lemmons had envisioned for the lead in her film: "a light-skinned black child ... who could convey the nuances of a Creole child in the 60s." She co-starred with her siblings in the television comedy On Our Own (1994-1995) and appeared in numerous television shows such as Hangin` with Mr. Cooper and Full House in which she played Michelle Tanner`s young friend Denise. From 1998 to 2000, she appeared as a regular cast member of the Bill Cosby series titled Cosby. She also played as a regular in Wanda at Large as Wanda Sykes` niece Holly in 2003, in the episode "Fools for Love" as the character "Tracey" on House, in The Great Debaters, and most recently as Beth, a terminally ill girl who undergoes a clinical trial to successful results in the episode "Freedom" on the popular ABC drama Grey`s Anatomy.
Smollett starred with Bow Wow in the 2005 film Roll Bounce. She played the role of Danyelle Rollins in the 2006 film Gridiron Gang, and also played leading roles in the racial drama Selma, Lord, Selma as well as Beautiful Joe (alongside Sharon Stone and Billy Connolly) and Ruby`s Bucket of Blood. In 2007, she played the role of Samantha Booke in The Great Debaters (which was directed by Denzel Washington and produced by Oprah Winfrey). On the 17th March 2009 she visited Ekhaya Multi Arts Centre, Kwa Mashu Township, north of Durban, South Africa where she led an inspiring exchange youth forum sharing her experiences with Kwa Mashu youth. Also in late 2009 she announced that she will have a role on the upcoming season of Friday Night Lights.
Smollett has four brothers and one sister, all of whom are actors. Smollett has been active in HIV/AIDS involved causes since she was twelve. She has spoken at the Ryan White Youth Conference, and elsewhere, on this issue. Her first encounter with the disease came at age seven when a crew member of On Our Own died of AIDS. She is also on the Board of Directors of the group Artists for a New South Africa, dedicated to dealing with HIV/AIDS in Africa.
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Jurnee Diana Smollett
Jussie Smollett, Jake Smollett, Jocqui, Jojo
Jurnee Diana Smollett-Bell (born October 1, 1986) is an American actress. She began her career as a child actress appearing on television sitcoms, with her most significant regular role being on On Our Own (1994–95). She received critical acclaim and Critic's Choice Award for playing title role in the 1997 independent drama film Eve's Bayou.
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