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Pinkett Smith, Jada 1971–

Jada Pinkett Smith 1971

Actress

Displayed Talent Early

Front Sitcom To Big-Screen

Branched Out Into Different Roles

Found Success Both on and Off Screen

Scaled Back Career

Jumped Back Into Action

Selected works

Sources

Nothings ever enough for me, Jada Pinkett Smith declared in GQ. Its never enough. Theres always somewhere new to go. Whether that somewhere new is an acting role or a venture like directing rap videos, producing television shows, running publishing companies, or singing, Pinkett Smith rarely shrinks from a challenge. By the age of 30, she had already won over film critics and fans with a series of diverse but equally scene-stealing performances in such films as Menace II Society, A Low Down Dirty Shame, Jasons Lyric, The Nutty Professor, Ali, and two Matrix movies, handling intimate drama, broad comedy, and action-horror heroism with aplomb. The Source praised her ability to effortlessly inhabit the characters she portrayed. Even more impressive than her wide variety of acting roles is her life off of the silver screen. Pinkett Smith is married to world-renowned actor Will Smith, of Men in Black and Bad Boys fame, is a full-time mother to three children, and is a co-founder of the Will and Jada Smith Foundation, which hands out over $1 million per year to help out inner-city communities.

Pinkett Smith was born on September 18, 1971, in Baltimore, Maryland, to contractor Robsol Pinkett, Jr. and nurse Adrienne Banfield; her parents divorced around the time of her birth. Raised by her mother and grandmother, Marion Banfield, in the rough neighborhood known as Pimlico, she soon developed the confidence and openness to experimentation that would catapult her to fame. Her relationship with her mother was pivotal in this regard. We were more like sisters in some ways than mother and daughter, Pinkett Smith averred in People. We leaned on each other a lot.

Her grandmother, she recalled in People, taught me that I can achieve whatever I want to achieve. Grand-mama wanted her grandchildren to have every possible experienceballet, tap dancing, piano lessons, gymnastics. She didnt want us to ever think we were deprived. Marion Banfield also told Pinkett Smith about sex; as she noted to GQ, Banfield sat me down at the age of 9 and let me know that masturbation was a very natural thing. The body, nudity, was very special and beautiful.

Displayed Talent Early

By age 14 Pinkett Smith had demonstrated sufficient talent and drive to attend the Baltimore School for the Arts. During high school she experimented with wild hair colors, rode a motorcycle, and tried everything from dance to studying French. Yet it soon became clear that acting was her strongest suit, for, as she said to Entertainment Weekly: There was nothing else I could do, except maybe go to law school and pass the bar, so the courtroom would be my stage.

Pinkett Smith graduated from Baltimore and went on to the North Carolina School of the Arts, but within a year had relocated to Los Angeles to pursue show business professionally. After meeting Keenen Ivory Wayanscreator and star of the hit television comedy series In Living Color at a party, she pestered him for a job as choreographer on the show. Shed had no professional experience, she admitted, but shed

At a Glance

Born on September 18, 1971, in Baltimore, MD; daughter of Robsol Pinkett, Jr, (a contractor) and Adrienne Banfield (a nurse); married Will Smith (rapper and actor), December 31, 1997; children; Jaden Christopher Syre, Willow Camille Reign. Education: Attended Baltimore School for the Arts and North Carolina School for the Arts.

Career: Actress, 1991; video director, 1991-; Maja, clothing designer and founder, 1994-; Overbrook Entertainment, co-founder and producer, 1990s-; Pretty Smart Books, founder and publisher, 2002-; singer, 2002-.

Memberships: Will and Jada Smith Foundation, co-founder, 1990s.

Addresses: Agent United Talent Agency, c/o Nick Stevens, 9560 Wilshire Blvd, Ste 500, Beverly Hills, CA 90212.

helped with some dance numbers in a high school play. I used to beg, Keenen, put me on your show, put me on your show. she recalled to Entertainment Weekly. Wayans didnt give her the gig she wanted, but was impressed with her and provided her with some motivation. Wayans instead, Pickett Smith told Entertainment Weekly, encouraged me to get off my lazy tail, get an agent, and do something.

Front Sitcom To Big-Screen

In 1991 Pinkett Smith joined the cast of the hit TV situation comedy A Different World. In the role of Lena James, Entertainment Weekly observed, sassi-ness became her signature. The character of James was perfect for Pinkett Smith for it had her playing a tough kid from the rough streets of Baltimore, a role that she was very familiar with from her own childhood. She told Interview magazine, They said they needed someone with a little edge, so they based Lena on me. By the time the show left the air in 1993, Pinkett Smith had already committed to a dramatic role in the film Menace II Society by two struggling filmmakers, Allen and Albert Hughes. She attacked the role of an unwed mother in the low-budget film with gusto; which paid off when both she and the movie earned critical praise. It was crucial to Pinkett Smith, as she explained to GQ, to establish her dramatic credentials in Hollywood without coming off as a bombshell: I didnt want to start in this business as a very sexual woman or a very attractive woman. I wanted to be noticed because of the talent.

Pinkett Smith took on a romantic role in The Inkwell, Matty Richs nostalgic 1994 comedy-drama. Though the film fared poorly both at the box office and with criticsEntertainment Weekly deemed it ungainly and amateurishit didnt prevent Pinkett Smith from earning more roles. She landed another romantic lead, the title role in Jasons Lyric. The films love scenes were steamy enough to earn it an NC-17 rating, the equivalent of box-office poison; they were re-edited so that the movie received an R rating. Even the image of Pinkett Smiths naked thigh (wrapped around the body of her costar Allen Payne) in the promotion poster ruffled industry feathers and had to be airbrushed out. People are so uptight about sex, she complained to GQ. What are they tripping about? Its not even kinky sex. She added that she suspected society has a problem with black intimacy.

Lyric director Doug McHenry described Pinkett Smith to The Source magazine as a really fabulous actress. She played Lyric as not just another stereotypical Black woman, but with sensitivity. She showed you that a woman can handle herself without drinking with the fellas, or cursing every other word. Entertainment Weekly critic Lisa Schwarzbaum, however, found the films love affair clichéd, little more than a picture-perfect romance that inspires pretty, petite Pinkett to wear floaty dresses out of a perfume ad and quote the poetry of John Donne to handsome, muscled Payne. Yet, again, Pinkett Smith got noticed in the film community. Indeed, as The Source proclaimed, 1994 was the year Jada showed us what a nineties kinda girl really looks like!

Branched Out Into Different Roles

Pinkett Smith at last got her opportunity to work with Wayans. He busted my ass, she declared to Entertainment Weekly. I had to read twice, no three times, for him! At last, however, she landed the role of Peaches in his action-comedy A Low Down Dirty Shame. Peaches is raw, Pinkett Smith insisted of the character, sidekick to Shame, Wayanss private eye. Shes got real long nails and a major attitude. Givin you straight ghetto. Ghetto vogue. Despite her diminutive stature, Pinkett Smith told People that she enjoyed rolling down the stairs and having someone kick me around the set. The stunts were the best part of making the movie.

While the film suffered generally poor reviews, Pinkett Smith invariably shone. People cited raves from both coasts, with Stephen Holden of the New York Times declaring that she walks away with the movie, and Los Angeles Times reviewer Kevin Thomas gushing that the actress lights up the screen. Apart from Wayanss charm, wrote Entertainment Weekly critic Owen Gleiberman, who gave the film a C grade, the film has one other saving grace, namely Pinkett Smith, a hyperkinetic comic sprite. Gleiberman added that Pinkett parades her head-waggling bravado with a welcome dose of self-mockery. Entertainment Weekly ventured that after all the buzz about her fierce performance in Shame, Pinkett wont stay a secret for long.

She again seized the limelight in Ernest Dickersons Tales From the Crypt: Demon Knight, an action-horror feature that spun off from a successful cable television series. She cut her hair short and dyed it platinum for the role, a pure creative choice, as she told Essence. Battling the films evil title character, she emerged as the first black female action hero on the big screen in nearly two decades. She told GQ that the genre suited her taste: Id love to work with [acclaimed action directors] Ridley Scott or John Woo. Im sick and tired of seeing black women on the screen as victims. She does enjoy sharing an audiences appreciation of her on-screen strength, however. I love sitting in the back [of the theater] with a big hat on so nobody can recognize me, she confessed to People, and watching people having fun during one of my movies. Theyre going, Yeah, Jadago gir ! Wow! It doesnt get any better than that.

Found Success Both on and Off Screen

In the early 1990s, shortly after she had left A Different World, Pinkett Smith tried out for a part on the up-and-coming television series The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. It was here that she first met actor Will Smith. While she did not get the part on the series as Smiths girlfriend (a role that went to super model Tyra Banks), she did gain a friendship with Smith that would grow as both of their careers progressed. They grew especially close in 1995 when Pinkett Smith broke up with long time boyfriend Grant Hill and Smith and his wife, Sheree Zampino, separated, counseling each other through the hard times. Yet the relationship was purely platonic at this point, for, as Pinkett Smith told Cosmopolitan, At first, we werent each others cup of tea.

As Pinkett Smith and Smith spent more time together, they eventually realized that an attraction was growing, and at the urging of friends Duane and Tisha-Campbell Martin, they explored a romantic relationship. At the same time, Pinkett Smith was breaking into commercial Hollywood circles with movies such as The Nutty Professor, alongside comedian Eddie Murphy, Set It Off, an action drama that matched Pinkett Smith with Queen Latifah and Vivica A. Fox as a group of disgruntled bank robbers, and a small but well received role in the teen horror flick Scream 2. She also secured a lead role in the romantic comedy Woo, where she played an outgoing, eccentric woman who was looking for love in all of the wrong places.

In 1997 Pinkett Smith and Smith announced their engagement and shortly after announced that Pinkett Smith was pregnant with their first child. The couple sped up their wedding plans and on New Years Eve of 1997, they were married in a private ceremony in Baltimore, Maryland, an event so top secret that guests were only given maps to the ceremony site hours before the actual wedding. Sixth months later, the Smiths welcomed their son, Jaden Christopher Syre Smith, into the world. While this was Pinkett Smiths first child, she and Will Smith had already been taking care of Smiths son, Willard Smith III (Trey for short), from his marriage to Zampino.

Scaled Back Career

After the birth of Jaden, Pinkett Smith decided to scale back her acting career so that she could spend more time with her new baby as well as her new husband. As she told Entertainment Weekly, Id rather not star in anything right now because I need to be flexible for my family. Will is the breadwinner, so what Im trying to do is keep myself in the game enough. Maybe one day Ill star in something again, but Ive gotten comfortable with the idea that Im not going to have the career that I once thought I was.

This did not mean that Pinkett Smith was not active during the late 1990s. With her husband she set up the Will and Jada Smith Foundation, which gives, according to Essence, $1 million per year in scholarships to grassroots organizations that help mothers, children, and families. The couple have also started Overbrook Entertainment, a production company set up to assist African-American actors to secure principal roles in Hollywood films both in front of and behind the camera. Pinkett Smith told People Weekly, In order to keep the Nia Longs and Halle Berrys and the Vivica A. Foxes working, you really need to have more black women behind the scenes.

In 2000 Pinkett Smith returned to the screen in Spike Lees farce, Bamboozled, a movie which showed the plight of many black actors and screenwriters in Hollywood. She followed this up with the comedy Kingdom Come, alongside Whoopi Goldberg, LL Cool J, and Vivica A. Fox. In early 2001 she starred in Ali, her first movie with husband Will Smith. Ironically she played Sonji, the first wife of boxer Muhammad Ali, who was played by Smith. A few months later, Pinkett Smith gave birth to the couples second child, Willow Camille Reign.

Jumped Back Into Action

Many people wondered if Pinkett Smith would take more time off after the birth of her second child, but she was already in the middle of intensive training for three projects for the Wachowski Brothers, the films The Matrix Reloaded, and The Matrix Revolutions, and the video game Enter The Matrix. In both the films and the video game, Pinkett Smith plays Niobe, a human soldier of the city of Zion who is trying to stop an invasion of machines from killing the human race. The role challenged Pinkett Smith not only mentally but physically. She told Essence, I was trained to fly on the wire. My character, Niobe, has no weapons but she is nice with her feet. Therefore I had to do hours of kicks, as well as kick strengthening exercises.

Other avenues of expression have opened up to Pinkett Smith as well since her return to Hollywood. She and Smith became executive producers of a show based on their own life called All of Us, which deals with the non-traditional family. Many people wondered if a comedy was the right type of show to present such a touchy subject but, as Pinkett Smith told Interview, I felt like in such a serious situation as trying to make a blended family work and be, I thought it would just work better in a sitcom format. While critics have yet to pass judgement on whether Pinkett Smith is correct or not, both she and Smith feel the show will be successful because, Its really something that Im sure all of us have experienced in some form or fashion.

Pinkett Smith has also recently founded a publishing company called Pretty Smart Books, which she is hoping will print a good deal of stories that would have not otherwise gotten the chance to hit bookstore shelves. She also sang on husband Will Smiths album, Born to Reign. Pinkett Smith plans to release a yet untitled solo album, which will allow her to explore the world of music. As she told Essence, I love to write songs. It all comes from my heart. Im not going pop, dont want to spend a lot of money on the project. Ill probably be independent. I believe I have something to say, and theres no pressure.

With all she has going for her, it seems that Pinkett Smith is an unstoppable force in the world of entertainment. Im pretty hard to stop, she admitted to People. When I want something, I go get it. As she told Essence, Im extremely ambitious. I dont know why people are afraid to say that. She is living proof of her own belief in self-definition; as she noted to GQ, You can be sexy, you can be fragile, you can be vulnerable, and at the same time be very strong and have something to say.

Selected works

Film

Menace II Society, 1993.

The Inkwell, 1994.

Jasons Lyric, 1994.

A Low Down Dirty Shame, 1994.

Demon Knight, 1995.

The Nutty Professor, 1996.

Set It Off, 1996.

Scream 2, 1997.

Woo, 1998.

Bamboozled, 2000.

Kingdom Come, 2001.

All, 2001.

The Matrix Reloaded, 2003.

The Matrix Revolutions, 2003.

Television

A Different World, NBC, 199193.

If These Walls Could Talk, HBO, 1996.

(Co-producer) All of Us, UPN, 2003.

Sources

Books

Notable Black American Women, Book 3, Gale Group, 2002.

Periodicals

Billboard, March 11, 1995, p. 45.

Cosmopolitan, June 1998, p. 204205.

Entertainment Weekly, May 6, 1994, pp. 4748; October 7, 1994, p. 54; December 9, 1994, p. 48; December 23, 1994, p. 48; November 16, 2001, pp. 7880.

Ebony, August 2003, pp. 4043.

Essence, January 1995, p. 83; June 2003, pp. 148157.

Jet, July 27, 1998, p. 61; November 20, 2000, p. 46.

Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, July 24, 2003.

GQ, November 1994, p. 237.

People, December 19, 1994, pp. 5556.

Source, January 1995, p. 44.

On-line

Jada Pinkett Smith, Internet Movie Database, www.imdb.com (September 9, 2003).

Will Smith, All Music Guide, www.allmusic.com (September 22, 2003).

Simon Glickman and Ralph G. Zerbonia

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"Pinkett Smith, Jada 1971–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Pinkett, Jada 1971(?)—

Jada Pinkett 1971(?)

Actress

Displayed Talent Early

Played Lyric Role with Sensitivity

Diverse Passions

Sources

Nothings ever enough for me, Jada Pinkett declared to James Ryan of GQ. Its never enough. Theres always somewhere new to go. Whether that somewhere new is an acting role or a venture like directing rap videos or marketing T-shirts she designs, Pinkett rarely shrinks from a challenge. By the age of 23, she had already won over film critics with a series of diverse but equally scene-stealing performances in such films as Menace II Society, A Low Down Dirty Shame, and Tales From the Crypt: Demon Knight, handling intimate drama, broad comedy, and action-horror heroism with aplomb. She is the consummate professional, even though shes very young, remarked director Doug McHenrywho worked with Pinkett on the drama Jasons Lyric in People, adding that audiences are only beginning to know the potential of her range. The Source echoed this plaudit, praising her ability to effortlessly inhabit the characters she portrayed.

Pinkett was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to contractor Robsol Pinkett, Jr. and nurse Adrienne Banfield; her parents divorced around the time of her birth. Raised in the rough neighborhood known as Pimlico by her mother as well as her grandmother Marion Banfield, she soon developed the confidence and openness to experimentation that would catapult her to fame; her relationship with her mother Adrienne was pivotal in this regard. We were more like sisters in some ways than mother and daughter, Pinkett averred in her People interview. We leaned on each other a lot.

Her grandmother, she recollected, taught me that I can achieve whatever I want to achieve. Grandmama wanted her grandchildren to have every possible experienceballet, tap dancing, piano lessons, gymnastics. She didnt want us to ever think we were deprived. Marion Banfield also told her about sex; as Pinkett noted to GQs Ryan, she sat me down at the age of 9 and let me know that masturbation was a very natural thing. The body, nudity, was very special and beautiful.

Displayed Talent Early

By age 14 she had demonstrated sufficient talent and drive to attend the Baltimore School for the Arts. One of her schoolmates was Tupac Shakur, who would later make headlines as rapper, film star, and rape suspect. Pinkett vehemently defended her friend to People: No is no, and rape is rape, she declared, but I know for sure, without a doubt, that hes not capable of that action.

Experimenting with wild hair colors, riding a motorcycle, and otherwise coming out of whatever shell remained, Pinkett was pleased to find that her family let me flow. I was always just Jada. I never changed my personality. Acting was clearly her only viable career option, she told Entertainment Weeklys Heather Keets: There was nothing else I could do, except maybe go to law school and pass the bar, so the courtroom would be my stage.

At a Glance

Born c. 1971 in Baltimore, MD; daughter of Robsoi Pinkett, Jr. (a contractor) and Adrienne Banfield (a nurse). Education: Attended Baltimore School for the Arts and North Carolina School for the Arts.

Actress, video director, clothing designer, and poet, 1991. Appeared on NBC-TV program A Different World, 1991-93; appeared in films Menace II Society 1993, The Inkwell, Jasons Lyric, A Low Down Dirty Shame, all 1994, and Demon Knight, 1995; directed videos for Y?NVee and Shug & Dap, 1994; designed clothes for own Maja line, 1994; performed poetry readings around U.S.; appeared at schools and shelters as motivational speaker.

Addresses: Publicist Bragman, Nyman, Caffarelli, 9171 Wilshire Blvd., Penthouse Suite, Beverly Hills, CA 90210.

Pinkett graduated from Baltimore and went on to the North Carolina School of the Arts, but within a year had relocated to Los Angeles to pursue show business professionally. After meeting Keenen Ivory Way anscreator and star of the hit television comedy series In Living Color at a party, she pestered him for a job as choreographer on the show. She had had no professional experience, she admitted, but she had helped with some dance numbers in a high school play. Way ans did not give her the gig she wanted, but was impressed with her and provided her with some motivation. I used to beg, Keenen, put me on your show, put me on your show. And he was always like, No, she recalled to Keets of Entertainment Weekly. Wayans instead encouraged me to get off my lazy tail, get an agent, and do something.

In 1991 Pinkett landed the role of Lena James on the hit TV situation comedy A Different World. In that role, Keets observed, sassiness became her signature. The show lasted two years; by the time it left the air, she had committed to a dramatic role in a feature by two struggling filmmakers, Allen and Albert Hughes. She attacked the role of an unwed mother in their low-budget film Menace II Society with gusto; both she and the movie earned critical raves. It was crucial to Pinkett, as she explained to Ryan, to establish her dramatic credentials in Hollywood without coming off as a bombshell: I didnt want to start in this business as a very sexual woman or a very attractive woman. I wanted to be noticed because of the talent.

Played Lyric Role with Sensitivity

Pinkett took on a romantic role in The Inkwell, Matty Richs nostalgic 1994 comedy-drama. Though the film fared poorly both at the box office and with criticsEntertainment Weekly deemed it ungainly and amateurishit did not prevent Pinkett from earning more roles. She landed another romantic lead, the title role in Jasons Lyric. The films love scenes were steamy enough to earn it an NC-17 rating, the equivalent of box-office poison; they were re-edited so that the movie received an R rating. Even the image of Pinketts naked thigh (wrapped around the body of her costar Allen Payne) in the promotion poster ruffled industry feathers and had to be airbrushed out. People are so uptight about sex, she complained to Ryan. What are they tripping about? Its not even kinky sex. She added that she suspected society has a problem with black intimacy.

Lyric director McHenry described Pinkett to The Source magazine as a really fabulous actress. She played Lyric as not just another stereotypical Black woman, but with sensitivity. She showed you that a woman can handle herself without drinking with the fellas, or cursing every other word. Entertainment Weekly critic Lisa Schwarzbaum, however, found the films love affair clichéd, little more than a picture-perfect romance that inspires pretty, petite Pinkett to wear floaty dresses out of a perfume ad and quote the poetry of John Donne to handsome, muscled Payne. Yet, again, Pinkett got noticed in the film community. Indeed, as The Source proclaimed, 1994 was the year Jada showed us what a nineties kinda girl really looks like!

Pinkett at last got her opportunity to work with Wayans. He busted my ass, she declared to Keets. I had to read twice, no three times, for him! At last, however, she landed the role of Peaches in his action-comedy A Low Down Dirty Shame. Peaches is raw, Pinkett insisted of the character, sidekick to Shame, Wayanss private eye. Shes got real long nails and a major attitude. Givin you straight ghetto. Ghetto vogue. Despite her diminutive stature, Pinkett told People that she enjoyed rolling down the stairs and having someone kick me around the set. The stunts were the best part of making the movie.

While the film suffered generally poor reviews, Pinkett invariably shone. People cited raves from both coasts, with Stephen Holden of the New York Times declaring that she walks away with the movie, and Los Angeles Times reviewer Kevin Thomas gushing that the actress lights up the screen. Apart from Wayanss charm, wrote Entertainment Weekly critic Owen Gleiberman, who gave the film a C grade, the film has one other saving grace, namely Pinkett, a hyperkinetic comic sprite. Gleiberman added that Pinkett parades her head-waggling bravado with a welcome dose of self-mockery. Keets ventured that after all the buzz about her fierce performance in Shame, Pinkett wont stay a secret for long.

Diverse Passions

She again seized the limelight in Ernest Dickersons Tales From the Crypt: Demon Knight, an action-horror feature that spun off from a successful cable television series. She cut her hair short and dyed it platinum for the role, a pure creative choice, as she told Essence. Battling the films evil title character, she emerged as the first black female action hero on the big screen in nearly two decades. She told Ryan that the genre suited her taste: Id love to work with [acclaimed action directors] Ridley Scott or John Woo. Im sick and tired of seeing black women on the screen as victims. She does enjoy sharing an audiences appreciation of her on-screen strength, however. I love sitting in the back [of the theater] with a big hat on so nobody can recognize me, she confessed to People, and watching people having fun during one of my movies. Theyre going, Yeah, Jadago girlF Wow! It doesnt get any better than that.

Pinketts acting has kept her busy, but not at the expense of her many other passions. She started a mailorder clothing line called Maja, consisting largely of T-shirts and dresses bearing feminist slogans. Periodically, she has appeared at venues like Mamas Kitchen in New York to give poetry readings. Leasing an apartment in Studio City, California, she told People that she had not had time for a serious relationship, which she considered a real sacrifice. Essence reported that she avoids red meat, although I do eat fish and chicken. Im so small that if I ate just vegetables, Id just disappear.

She has also directed videos for some rap-artist friends, notably Y?N-Vee; she oversaw the clip for their song 4-Play and has also worked with hip-hop comers Shug & Dap. Her credentials in this department no doubt help when she gives motivational talks to inner-city youngsters. I tell the kids that from struggle comes strength, she declared in the People profile. And if everythings easy, then how do you know how to survive when, inevitably, there comes a time when things arent so happy-go-lucky?

Things have been pretty agreeable for Pinkett in the wake of Shame and Knight, however. Inundated with scripts and apparently eyed by superstar Eddie Murphy for more high-profile work, she has become a player in Hollywood. Even so, she acknowledged to People that black women traditionally have fewer kinds of roles to choose from than their white counterparts: Id love to play [Shakespearean lover] Juliet. Id like to see [an erotic thriller] cast with black people. Still, were getting there, slowly but surely.

The young star has not been proceeding slowly in her own work. Im pretty hard to stop, she admitted to People. When I want something, I go get it. As she told Essence, Im extremely ambitious. I dont know why people are afraid to say that. I wont sell my soul to the devil, but I do want success and I dont think thats bad.

Having demonstrated an exceptional acting range in a few short yearsand having dazzled critics with her onscreen charismaPinkett has already achieved a certain plateau of success, and seems destined for more. She is living proof of her own belief in self-definition; as she noted to Ryan, You can be sexy, you can be fragile, you can be vulnerable, and at the same time be very strong and have something to say.

Sources

Billboard, March 11, 1995, p. 45.

Entertainment Weekly, May 6, 1994, pp. 47-8; October 7, 1994, p. 54; December 9, 1994, p. 48; December 23, 1994, p. 48.

Essence, January 1995, p. 83.

GQ, November 1994, p. 237.

People, December 19, 1994, pp. 55-6.

The Source, January 1995, p. 44.

Simon Glickman

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"Pinkett, Jada 1971(?)—." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Pinkett Smith, Jada 1971– (Jada Pinkett)

PINKETT SMITH, Jada 1971
(Jada Pinkett)

PERSONAL

Original name, Jada Koren Pinkett; born September 18, 1971, in Baltimore, MD; daughter of Robsol Pinkett, Jr. (some sources cite Robson; a contractor) and Adrienne Banfield (a nurse); granddaughter of Marion Banfield (a social worker); married Will Smith (an actor and singer), December 31, 1997; children: Willard "Trey" Smith III, Jaden Christopher Syre Smith, Willow Camille Reign Smith. Education: Attended Baltimore School for the Arts and North Carolina School of the Arts. Avocational Interests: Family activities, horses.

Addresses: Office c/o Will and Jada Smith Foundation, P.O. Box 30080, Baltimore, MD 21270. Agent Patrick Whitesell, The Endeavor Agency, 9701 Wilshire Blvd., 10th Floor, Beverly Hills, CA 90212. Manager James Lassiter, Brookside Artists Management, 450 North Roxbury Dr., Fourth Floor, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Publicist Tencer and Associates Public Relations, 9777 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 504, Beverly Hills, CA 90212.

Career: Actress, producer, and writer. Overbrook Entertainment (production company), cofounder and producer. Director of music videos for rap groups; member of the band Wicked Wisdom, which toured England with Britney Spears, 2004. Appeared in commercials; gave readings of her poetry at Mama's Kitchen in New York City; motivational speaker. Creator of Maja (line of clothing for women), 1994; Pretty Smart Books (publishing company), founder and publisher, beginning 2002; Will and Jada Smith Foundation, cofounder; appeared on merchandise from The Matrix films and other projects.

Member: Alpha Kappa Alpha.

Awards, Honors: Image Award nomination, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, outstanding lead actress in a motion picture, 1997, for Set It Off; Image Award nomination, outstanding lead actress in a television movie or miniseries, 1997, for "1996," If These Walls Could Talk; Blockbuster Entertainment Award nomination, favorite supporting actresshorror, 1998, for Scream 2; Young Hollywood Award, Movieline, female superstar of tomorrow, 1999; Black Reel Award nomination, best actress in a theatrical film, and Image Award nomination, outstanding actress in a motion picture, both 2001, for Bamboozled; Image Award nomination, outstanding supporting actress in a motion picture, 2002, for Ali; Image Award nomination, outstanding supporting actress in a motion picture, 2004, for The Matrix Revolutions.

CREDITS

Film Appearances; as Jada Pinkett:

Ronnie, Menace II Society, New Line Cinema, 1993.

Lauren Kelly, The Inkwell (also known as No Ordinary Summer ), Buena Vista, 1994.

Lyric Greer, Jason's Lyric, Gramercy, 1994.

Peaches Jordan, A Low Down Dirty Shame (also known as Mister Cool ), Buena Vista, 1994.

Jeryline, Tales from the Crypt Presents Demon Knight (also known as Demon Keeper and Demon Knight ), Universal, 1995.

Lida "Stony" Newsom, Set It Off, New Line Cinema, 1996.

Professor Carla Purty, The Nutty Professor, Universal, 1996.

Voice of Toki, Princess Mononoke (animated; also known as Mononokehime ), Dimension Films, 1997.

Film Appearances; As Jada Pinkett Smith:

Darlene "Woo" Bates (title role), Woo, New Line Cinema, 1997.

Mary, Blossoms and Veils, 1997.

Maureen Evans, Scream 2 (also known as Scream Again ), Dimension Films/Miramax, 1998.

M. J. Major, Return to Paradise (also known as All for One ), Universal, 1998.

Herself, Welcome to Hollywood, 2000.

Sloan Hopkins, Bamboozled, New Line Cinema, 2000.

Charisse Slocumb, Kingdom Come, Twentieth CenturyFox, 2001.

Sonji Roi, Ali, Columbia, 2001.

Niobe, The Matrix Reloaded, Warner Bros., 2003, also released as The Matrix Reloaded: The IMAX Experience.

Niobe, The Matrix Revolutions, Warner Bros., 2003, also released as The Matrix Revolutions: The IMAX Experience.

Annie Farrell, Collateral, Paramount/DreamWorks, 2004.

Film Work; Executive Producer:

Blossoms and Veils, 1997.

The Seat Filler, Seat Filler Productions/Strange Fruit Films, 2004.

Television Appearances; Series:

(As Jada Pinkett) Lena James, A Different World, NBC, 19911993.

Television Appearances; Specials:

(As Jada Pinkett) BET's Voices against Violence Special, Black Entertainment Television, 1995.

Herself, The Barbara Walters Special, ABC, 1998.

Herself, Women of the Net, E! Entertainment Television, 1998.

Herself, Making the Game: Enter the Matrix, MTV, 2003.

Herself, Tupac: Resurrection MTV Movie Special, MTV, 2003.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

(As Jada Pinkett) Presenter, The 25th Anniversary Essence Awards (also known as 1995 Essence Awards ), Fox, 1995.

(As Pinkett) The 27th Annual NAACP Image Awards (also known as NAACP Image Awards ), Fox, 1996.

(As Pinkett) Presenter, Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, UPN, 1997.

(As Pinkett) Presenter, The 54th Annual Golden Globe Awards, NBC, 1997.

(As Pinkett) Presenter, The 10th Essence Awards, Fox, 1997.

Presenter, The 55th Annual Golden Globe Awards, NBC, 1998.

Presenter, The 1998 MTV Video Music Awards, MTV, 1998.

Presenter, 12th Annual American Comedy Awards, Fox, 1998.

Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, UPN, 1998.

Host, The 1999 Essence Awards, Fox, 1999.

Presenter, The 1999 World Music Awards, ABC, 1999.

The 41st Annual Grammy Awards, CBS, 1999.

Presenter, The 76th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 2004.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

(As Jada Pinkett) Beverly, "Life with Fathers," True Colors, Fox, 1990.

(As Pinkett) "Homegirls," 21 Jump Street, syndicated, 1991.

(As Pinkett) Herself, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, syndicated, 1996.

Herself, "Ellen: A Hollywood Tribute: Part 1," Ellen, ABC, 1998.

Herself, The Late Show with David Letterman, CBS, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003.

Herself, Intimate Portrait: Jasmine Guy, Lifetime, 2001.

Herself, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBC, 2001, 2003.

Herself, TRL, 2002.

Herself, "Enter the Playtrix," Player$, 2003.

Herself, "Fistful of Matrix," Player$, 2003.

Herself, "Will Smith," Biography (also known as A&E Biography: Will Smith ), Arts and Entertainment, 2003.

(In archive footage) Herself, "It's Good to Be Will and Jada," It's Good to Be, VH1, 2003.

Herself, Richard and Judy, Channel 4, 2003.

Herself, Tinseltown.TV, 2003.

Herself, The View, ABC, 2003.

Herself, GMTV, ITV, 2004.

Herself, NY Graham Norton, 2004.

Appeared in The Chris Rock Show, HBO; and appeared in Movie House, MTV.

Television Appearances; Other:

(As Jada Pinkett) Natalie, Moe's World (pilot), ABC, 1992.

(As Pinkett) Patti, "1996," If These Walls Could Talk (miniseries), HBO, 1996.

Narrator, Maniac Magee (movie), Nickelodeon, 2003.

Television Work; Series:

Creator and executive producer (with Will Smith), All of Us, UPN, 2003.

Stage Appearances:

(As Jada Pinkett) Zonia, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Center Stage, Baltimore, MD, 19881989.

Appeared in The Nutcracker, Baltimore, MD; also appeared in Good Morning, Heartache and A Wrinkle in Time.

RECORDINGS

Videos:

Herself, Behind the "Scream, " Dimension Home Video, 2000.

Herself, The Making of "Bamboozled, " 2001.

Herself, Making "Enter the Matrix, " Warner Home Video, 2003.

Music Videos:

"Just the Two of Us," by Will Smith, 1998.

Music Videos; Director:

"Temptations," by Tupac Shakur, c. 1995.

Director of music videos by Maxine Harvey, Gerald Levert, MC Lyte, Shug & Dap, and Y?NVee.

Video Games:

Voice of Niobe, Enter the Matrix, Atari/Infogrames Entertainment, 2003.

Albums; Contributor:

Performer on the song "1,000 Kisses," on the album Born to Reign, by Will Smith, Sony Records, 2002.

WRITINGS

Screenplays:

(With Will Smith) Love for Hire, Universal/Imagine Entertainment, 1997.

Teleplays; Episodic:

"Uncle Marcus Comes to Dinner," All of Us, UPN, 2003.

For Children:

Girls Hold Up This World, Scholastic, 2003.

Author of poetry. Contributor to the comic book Menace.

OTHER SOURCES

Books:

Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 41, Gale, 2004.

Notable Black American Women, Book 3, Gale, 2002.

Periodicals:

Cosmopolitan, December, 1996, p. 114; June, 1998, pp. 204205.

Ebony, December, 1996, pp. 14446; September, 1997, March, 2000.

Entertainment Weekly, May 6, 1994, pp. 4748; October 7, 1994, p. 54; December 9, 1994, p. 48; December 23, 1994, p. 48; November 16, 2001, pp. 7880.

Essence, January, 1995, pp. 8088; March, 1998, June, 2003, pp. 14857.

Glamour, August, 1996, p. 59.

GQ, November, 1994, pp. 23637.

In Style, May 4, 1998; December 1, 2001.

Interview, September, 1994, pp. 13637.

Jet, February 13, 1995, p. 30; October 21, 1996, pp. 3639; December 29, 1997, May 25, 1998, July 27, 1998, p. 61; November 20, 2000, p. 46.

Movieline, December, 1996, pp. 5257, 87.

People Weekly, December 19, 1994, pp. 5556; July 29, 1996, p. 96; November 18, 1996, p. 93; December 22, 1997.

Rolling Stone, December, 1997.

W, May 30, 2001.

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"Pinkett Smith, Jada 1971– (Jada Pinkett)." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Pinkett Smith, Jada 1971– (Jada Pinkett)." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Retrieved July 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/pinkett-smith-jada-1971-jada-pinkett

Smith, Jada Pinkett 1971– (Jada Pinkett)

Smith, Jada Pinkett 1971
(Jada Pinkett)

Personal

Born September 18, 1971, in Baltimore, MD; daughter of Robson (a contractor) and Adrienne (a nurse; maiden name Banfield) Pinkett; married Will Smith (an actor) December 31, 1997; children: Jadan Cristopher Syre, Willow Camille Reign. Education: Attended Baltimore School for the Arts and North Carolina School of the Arts.

Addresses

Agent c/o Author Mail, Scholastic, Inc., 557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012.

Career

Actress and author. Appeared in films, including Moe's World, 1990; Menace II Society, 1993; The Inkwell, 1994; Jason's Lyric, 1994; A Low-down Dirty Shame, 1994; Demon Knight, 1995; The Nutty Professor, 1996; If These Walls Could Talk, 1996; Set It Off, 1996; Mononoke-hime (animation), 1997; Scream 2, 1997; Blossoms and Veils, 1997; Woo, 1998; Return to Paradise, 1998; Bamboozled, 2000; Kingdom Come, 2000; Ali, 2001; Maniac Magee, 2003; The Matrix Reloaded, 2003; Enter the Matrix, 2003; The Matrix Revolutions, 2003; Collateral, 2004; and Madagascar (animated), 2005. Executive producer of films, including Blossoms and Veils, 1997, and The Seat Filler, 2004.

Member

Alpha Kappa Alpha.

Awards, Honors

Crowned Miss Maryland, 1988; voted among Ten Sexiest Women of the Year, Black Men magazine, 2000.

Writings

Girls Hold up This World, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2003.

Co-writer for television series All of Us.

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Ebony, September, 2004, Joy Bennett Kinnon, "Jada Pinkett Smith: Redefining Hollywood."

Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2005, review of Girls Hold up This World, p. 57.

ONLINE

Internet Movie Database, http://www.indb.com (May 3, 2005), "Jada Pinkett Smith."

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"Smith, Jada Pinkett 1971– (Jada Pinkett)." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Smith, Jada Pinkett 1971– (Jada Pinkett)." Something About the Author. . Retrieved July 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/smith-jada-pinkett-1971-jada-pinkett