Jurnee Smollett (Actress) as Denise - Full House
 
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Updated: 8/25/11

Name: Jurnee Smollett

Born: October 1, 1986, New York City, New York

Claim To Fame: Smollett got her start as a child star on two of ABC's "TGIF" lineup of Friday night family sitcoms. She played Michelle Tanner's friend Denise on Full House and acted alongside her real-life siblings on the short-lived TGIF sitcom On Our Own.

Family Life: She married musician Josiah Bell in 2010.

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Info: Smollett is the fourth of six performing siblings, and she began acting at a young age with them in the ABC television comedy On Our Own (1994-1995). She also appeared on several TV shows including Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, Martin, Wanda at Large, and as Michelle's friend on Full House.

Smollett received critical acclaim for her performance in the 1997 independent film Eve's Bayou. Some of her other film credits include the 1996 Francis Ford Coppola film Jack, the 1999 Disney film Selma, Lord, Selma, the 2000 comedy Beautiful Joe, and the film Ruby's Bucket of Blood. In 2007, she was cast by Denzel Washington in his starring/directorial vehicle The Great Debaters.

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Trivia: Her father is Jewish and her mother is African American.

Has been active in HIV/AIDS causes since she was eleven. She is on the Board of Directors of Artists for a New South Africa, dedicated to dealing with HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Visited Ekhaya Multi Arts Centre in South Africa in 2009, where she led an exchange youth forum sharing her experiences with Kwa Mashu youth.

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Where Are They Now: Smollett co-starred in the last two seasons of the critically acclaimed series Friday Night Lights as Jess Merriweather. From September 2010 to March 2011 she appeared on the CBS legal drama The Defenders with Jim Belushi and Jerry O'Connell.

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