American actress Jurnee Diana Smollett-Bell, popularly known as Jurnee Smollett, was born as a fourth child to parents Janet and Joel Smollett on October 1, 1986 in New York, USA. Her father was Jewish while her mother was African-American. Jurnee has four brothers and one sister. Having acted in a number of TV shows and movies, the 5'6 tall actress first came to limelight with ABC sitcom On Our Own in the year 1994, but is better known for her role of Jess Merriweather on a TV series Friday Night Lights.
Jurnne Smollett married to musician Josiah Bell in Los Angeles in the year 2010. Jurnee Smollett's road to silver screen started way back when she was a kid. At the age of 8, she acted as one of the siblings in an ABC sitcom On Our Own. As she grew up, she started appearing on various TV shows such as Hangin' with Mr. cooper, Full House, Grey's Anatomy etc. Apart from this, the actress has also acted in a number of movies such as The Great Debaters, Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor etc. At the age of 10, she appeared in the film 'Jack' and then in 'Eve Bayou', following which she also starred in 'Selma, Lord, Selma', 'Beautiful Joe', Ruby's Bucket of Blood' etc. Her 10-year-old character in 'Eve's Bayou' received critical acclaim. In the year 2009, Jurnee led a youth forum to share experiences with KwaMashu youth. Jurnee's acting skills has brought her many recognitions and awards.
Initially, she won two awards for being the best young artist for Eve's Bayou. She also won the NAACP Image award for 'The Great Debators' in 2008. By now, Smollett has acted in nine films and appeared in twenty-two TV shows. In 2015, Smollett has started shooting opposite Chris Meloni for Sony WGN America TV series Underground in Louisiana where she plays the role of a shy housewife who works on a plantation in 1857. This talent of Jurnee has grabbed four awards and nine nominations till now. Smollett has always been active on social media. She has around 586k followers on Instagram. She is also quite active on tumblr.
Apart from her acting prowess, Jurnee has been a splendid social worker and philanthropist. She has supported many foundations such as Artists for a New South Africa, Nelson Mandela Children's Fund etc. Moreover, she has also been active in AIDS causes from the age of seven when one of the members of her crew from 'On Our Own' died of AIDS. From then on, she worked actively for people infected with AIDS. At the age of eleven, she also spoke at Ryan White Youth conference. Currently, she is the one of the Board of Directors for Artists for a New South Africa that works solely for causes HIV AIDS in South Africa. She is also one of the Board of Directors for Children's Defense Fund. She also took part in the Obama oriented voter registration drive on 9/10/2008. Smollett's work and dedication has raised her net worth to be around $2 million.