Who Is Jussie Smollett’s Sister Jurnee Smollett-Bell?

Siblings Jussie Smollett and Jurnee Smollett-Bell pose in front of a blue backdrop
Jussie Smollett and Jurnee Smollett-Bell | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Actor Jussie Smollett is one of six children. Here’s a look at the acting career of his sister Jurnee Smollett-Bell.

Early years and rise to fame

Smollett made her acting debut in the 1991 TV short Sunday in Paris. After that she appeared in one episode of the TV series Out All Night. By 1992, the actress landed a recurring role in the television show Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper. She played the role of Denise Frazer. Smollett’s next recurring role was from 1992 to 1994 in the hit series Full House, where she reprised her role as Denise Frazer. After that, she joined her siblings in the series On Our Own from 1994 to 1995.

Smollett gained more attention for her acting after appearing in the 1997 film Eve’s Bayou. The following year, from 1998 to 1999, she played the role of Jurnee on Cosby. Smollett’s next big film role was in the 2007 film The Great Debaters alongside actor Denzel Washington. She went on to land recurring roles in the TV shows Parenthood, True Blood, and Underground.


Jurnee Smollett-Bell attends the 2018 Essence Black Women In Hollywood Oscars Luncheon at Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel on March 1, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.
Jurnee Smollett |  Leon Bennett/Getty Images for Essence

In 1998, Smollett won a Critics’ Choice Movie Award for best young performer for the film Eve’s Bayou. In 2008, she won an NAACP Image Award for outstanding actress in a motion picture for The Great Debaters.

The Smollett family appeared on The Food Network

In 2016, Smollett joined her siblings for a six-episode Food Network series called Smollett Eats. The show focused on everything from general dinner ideas to tips on how to make meals for family gatherings such as a barbecue or birthday party. Some of the most popular meals on the show were fried okra, smoked cheddar and creole mac and cheese, and petite croque monsieurs.

Jussie Smollett is a proud brother

Jussie Smollett attends the 2018 Fox Network Upfront at Wollman Rink, Central Park on May 14, 2018 in New York City.
Jussie Smollett | Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Smollett’s brother isn’t shy about expressing his pride when it comes to his sister’s success. Jussie told E! News how proud he is of her in a recent interview.

If I were to truly lay out how proud I am of Jurnee, I would be here for like an entire year. You could do a mini-series about how proud I am of her alone. What she’s done, not just with Underground, but throughout her entire career… I watched how she watched the choices that my mom made, and she really brought it to her adult life as an artist. There’s been so many roles that I’ve seen that she was offered that she turned down and she only did things that somehow truly resonated with her… I respect her so much as an artist and as a human being for the choices she has made.

What’s next for Jurnee Smollett

Smollett is gearing up to appear in the film Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), alongside Margot Robbie. She will play the role of Black Canary. The actress is also set to appear in the film Audrey’s Run.

Read more: How Much Money Is Jussie Smollett Paid for ‘Empire’?

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