Jussie Smollett Biography

Jussie Smollett is an American actor, photographer and singer. This biography profiles his childhood, family life, acting career, achievements and timeline.

Jussie Smollett
Quick Facts

Birthday: June 21, 1982

Nationality: American

Famous: Gays Actors

Age: 37 Years, 37 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Gemini

Also Known As: Justin "Jussie" Smollett

Born in: Santa Rosa, California, U.S.

Famous as: Actor

Height: 6'0" (183 cm), 6'0" Males


father: Joel

mother: Janet

siblings: Jake, Jazz, Jocqui, Jojo, Jurnee

U.S. State: California

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Jussie Smollett is an American actor, photographer and singer. Garnering fame with his role as Jamal Lyon in the Fox television series ‘Empire’, he is now ready to take a major leap into Hollywood with Ridley Scott’s upcoming film ‘Alien Covenant’. The world of entertainment isn’t new for this child artist, who began starring in commercials at the age of five. In fact, Jussie lso starred in the comedy film ‘The Mighty Ducks’ before he was even a teenager. He took a short break from the industry before he announced his return on ‘The Mindy Project’ TV show, in a guest role. Ever since, his return he has taken over American Television with his versatile acting skills. He has even managed to win the hearts of music lovers with his vocal talent. Thus, he has signed a record deal with the reputed ‘Columbia Records’ in 2015 after launching his debut extended play - ‘Poisoned Hearts Club’. He has candidly stated that he takes pride in being a “black gay man”, yet he believes that love comes before gender. He is also a social activist who stands for the rights of LGBT’s, HIV victims and opposes racism.

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Jussie Smollett
Childhood & Early Life
  • Jussie Langston Mikha Smollett was born to Janet and Joel on 21st June, 1983 at Santa Rosa (Soma County) in California. His father is Ashkenazi Jewish and his mother is Afro-American.
  • He grew up along with his brothers – Jake, Jojo and Jocqui, and his sisters Jazz and Jurnee, who also grew up to be artists and actors.
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Child Artist
  • From the age of five, Jussie was a known face on TV; he was often seen in numerous network commercials in NYC until he landed his first role in the Hollywood movie ‘The Mighty Ducks’.
  • He was signed for the role of Terry Hall in the 1992 Stephen Herek’s American sports-comedy film ‘The Mighty Ducks’ under the banner of Walt Disney Pictures. In the film he worked with Emilio Estevez and Joshua Jackson.
  • Following his appearance in the film he was soon seen in the 1993 TV miniseries ‘Queen’ as Simon the son of the lead character alongside Halle Berry. The show was based on the Alex Haley’s novel ‘Queen: The Story of an American Family’.
  • In 1994, he starred along with his siblings on ABC’s sitcom ‘On Our Own’. In the show Jussie and his siblings play orphans and their elder brother, played by Ralph Harris takes the responsibility of bringing up his younger siblings.
  • He also landed the role of Adam in the 1994 American comedy film ‘North’ based on Alan Zweibel's novel. The film starred Elijah Wood and was also Scarlett Johansson’s debut film.
Music & Acting
  • While taking a break from the industry, Jussie featured in a short film ‘Pitch This’ as Mike. However, he came back into the industry with his guest appearance in ‘The Mindy Project’ as Barry Stassen in the episode ‘Josh and Mindy’s Christmas Party’ in 2012.
  • In 2012, he took on the lead role of Magnus, in the LGBT comedy drama film ‘The Skinny’, alongside Blake Young-Fountain who plays the main role of Sebastian in the movie.
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  • During his career break, he focused on his vocal skills and ended up releasing his debut EP ‘Poisoned Hearts Club’ comprising of seven songs in 2012.
  • 2014 was a busy year for him; he featured in two Hollywood movies - as Tariq in ‘Born to Race: Fast Track’ and as Nico Demper in the Allison Burnett film ‘Ask Me Anything’ alongside Britt Robertson, Justin Long and Christian Slater. He also guest starred in the ‘Ashes’ episode of the soap opera ‘Revenge’.
  • Jussie’s best performance is undoubtedly his role as ‘Jamal Lyon’ in Fox’s musical TV series ‘Empire’. The show is based on a hip-hop music company called ‘Empire Entertainment’, and the rifts between the families of the founders to control the company.
  • The show aired in 2015, in which he plays the talented son of the Lyon family, who is also a spectacular singer-songwriter but at the same time bears a distaste for politics in the music industry and is ridiculed as the “black sheep of the family” by his father.
  • In 2016, he guest starred as Josey in the WGN American drama series ‘Underground’ as a slave. Jussie’s younger sister, Jurnee Smollett-Bell plays the lead role as Rosalee on the show. He also appeared in the ‘Live! With Kelly’ show as a guest host.
  • He is currently working in the upcoming sci-fi horror film ‘Alien: Covenant’, which is a sequel of the 2012 movie ‘Prometheus’. The film is set to release on 9th May, 2017 and is being produced by ‘20th Century Fox’.
Major Works
  • His first major performance was in the short lived sitcom ‘On Our Own’. The show ran for one season incorporating 20 episodes before the show was cancelled. Yet the star cast including Jussie’s performance as child artist was critically appraised.
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  • His return to the industry in the 2012 American rom-com movie ‘The Skinny’ where he played a homosexual affluent medical student, received good reviews. The movie was released in selected theatres and his excellent portrayal of the character ‘Magnus’ was credited.
  • In 2016, 'Empire' was placed amongst the top 50 television shows by the ‘New York Times’.
Awards & Achievements
  • He was first nominated at the ‘Young Artist Awards’ in the category of ‘Outstanding Young Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture’ for ‘The Mighty Ducks’ when he was eleven. He was also nominated for ‘Best Actor’ at the ‘BET Awards’ in 1993.
  • He won his first award in 2016 at the ‘NAACP Image Awards’. That night he took home three awards in the categories of ‘Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration’ and ‘Outstanding Song’ for his single ‘You’re So Beautiful’ and also won the ‘Outstanding New Artist’ award.
  • In 2017, he again won a ‘NAACP Image Awards’ for his portrayal of Jamal Lyon in ‘Empire’ in the category of ‘Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series’.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • He has been an activist since his childhood. When he was ten, one of the set’s member passed away owing to HIV complications. As a little boy he was devastated on learning about the incident and henceforth took initiative to spread awareness about HIV, racism and homophobia.
  • At the age of sixteen, he began volunteering at the ‘Black AIDS Institute’ under the mentorship of Phill Wilson. He also worked closely with the ‘New South Africa’ organisation and its artists such as Samuel L. Jackson, Carlos Santana and LaToya Jackson for a similar cause.
  • In an interview on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’, Jussie told Ellen that he’s “a gay man” and that this wasn’t coming out of the closet for him as he had never hidden it and that he is proud of his sexual preference.
  • Jussie Smollet performed the song ‘I Got a Woman’ in February 2016 at the White House.

1. Marshall (2017)

  (Biography, Drama)

2. Alien: Covenant - Prologue: Last Supper (2017)

  (Sci-Fi, Horror, Short)

3. Alien: Covenant (2017)

  (Horror, Thriller, Sci-Fi)

4. The Mighty Ducks (1992)

  (Drama, Sport, Family, Comedy)

5. Ask Me Anything (2014)


6. North (1994)

  (Drama, Family, Fantasy, Adventure, Comedy)

See the events in life of Jussie Smollett in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Jussie Smollett Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- TheFamousPeople.com
Last Updated
- March 07, 2017

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