Jada Pinkett Smith

Jada Koren Pinkett Smith born September 18, 1971 is an American actress, producer, director, author, singer-songwriter, and businesswoman.

Jada Pinkett Smith was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Named after her mother’s favorite soap opera actress Jada Rowland. Pinkett Smith is of West Indian Creole African-American and Portuguese Jewish ancestry. Her parents are Adrienne Banfield-Jones the head nurse of an inner-city clinic in Baltimore; and Robsol Pinkett Jr. who runs a construction company.

Banfield-Jones became pregnant in high school. The couple married but divorced after several months. Banfield-Jones raised Pinkett with the help of her mother Marion Banfield who was employed as a social worker. Banfield noticed her granddaughter’s passion for the performing arts and enrolled her in piano, tap dance, and ballet lessons. She has one younger brother Caleeb Pinkett. “My mother understood what I wanted and never stood in my way.”

Pinkett Smith Pinkett Smith remains close to her mother and said “A mother and daughter’s relationship is usually the most honest, and we are so close.” She participated as the maid of honor in Banfield-Jones’ 1998 wedding to telecommunications executive Paul Jones. Pinkett-Smith has shown great admiration for her grandmother saying “My grandmother was a doer who wanted to create a better community and add beauty to the world.”
 
Pinkett Smith majored in dance and theatre at the Baltimore School for the Arts graduating in 1989. She continued her education at the North Carolina School of the Arts, but dropped out after a year. She moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue an acting career.
 
Jada moved to Los Angeles and stayed with LaVern Whitt a former Stunt woman now Producer and long time family/friend who got her started in the industry. In Los Angeles Pinkett Smith inquired about the choreographer position for the television series In Living Color created by actor Keenan Ivory Wayans who she met through LaVern but the job was already taken by Rosie. LaVern helped her find an acting agent and got her started in the industry by introducing Jada to many of her celebrity friends including Keenan.

 
She began her career in 1990 when she made a guest appearance in the short-lived sitcom True Colors. She starred in A Different World produced by Bill Cosby, and she featured opposite Eddie Murphy in The Nutty Professor (1996). She starred in dramatic films such as Menace II Society (1993), and Set It Off (1996).

She has appeared in more than 20 films in a variety of genres including Scream 2, Ali, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, Madagascar and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.

Pinkett Smith met Will Smith in 1990 on the set of Smith’s television show The Fresh Prince of Belair when she auditioned for the role of his character’s girlfriend Lisa Wilkes. She was considered too short.  Pinkett Smith is 5’0″ and Smith is 6’2″.  The role went to actress Nia Long. Pinkett and Smith became friends, and began dating in 1995.

After opening her music company 100% Women Productions Pinkett Smith created her own fashion label Maja in 1994. Her clothing line features women’s T-shirts and dresses embellished with the slogan “Sister Power” sold primarily through small catalogs.

On December 31, 1997 about 100 guests attended Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s wedding at the Cloisters near her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. Together the couple have founded the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation. A charity organization which focuses on urban inner city youth and family support. The foundation has worked with non-profit organizations such as YouthBuild and the Lupus Foundation of America.

Additionally Smith not only created a production company and her own makeover line she’s also the author of an adult book published in 2000. Pinkett Smith launched her music career in 2005 when she helped create the metal rock band Wicked Wisdom for which she is a singer and songwriter.

In 2003 Pinkett Smith and Smith helped to create the television series All of Us which originally aired on UPN. The sitcom starred Duane Martin and LisaRaye and revolved around Martin’s character juggling relationships with his ex-wife (LisaRaye), his 5-year-old son (Khamani Griffin), and his fiancée (Elise Neal). Pinkett Smith and Smith served as executive producers and guest-starred in several episodes. They said that the show is “very, very loosely” based on their life.

In 2005 Pinkett Smith became one of many celebrities to invest a combined total of $10 million in Carol’s Daughter which is a line of beauty products created by Lisa Price. She became a spokesperson for the beauty line, and said “To be a part of another African American woman’s dream was just priceless to me.”

Both Pinkett Smith, and Smith had been regular customers of Carol’s Daughter before an investment plan had been made.

Jada Pinkett and Will Smith have two children Jaden and Willow. Pinkett Smith is the stepmother to Smith’s son from a previous marriage Willard “Trey” Smith III. Pinkett Smith commented in 2008 on their parenting skills. “We’re not strict but we definitely believe it’s a very important component for rearing children. It creates safety for them, and they understand that they need guidance.”

Trey attends Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, California while Jaden and Willow are attending public school once again. The family resides in a 27,000 square foot home on 100 acres in Malibu.

In 2008 Pinkett Smith portrayed Alex Fisher a lesbian author in The Women. The film co-starred Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Even Mendes, and Debra Messing. Directed by Emmy Award-winner Diane English. Pinkett Smith’s directorial debut was The Human Contract. She also wrote and acted in the movie starring Paz Vega and Idris Elba. It debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2008.

As of January 2009, she has been working on the TNT medical drama Hawthorne in which she is executive producer, and a starring cast member.The show has been greenlit for 10 episodes.
 
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