Who is Jojo Smollett?
An actor who rose to prominence after his portrayal of Jimi Jerrico in the popular ‘90s comedy drama series “On Our Own”, Jojo Smollett was born under the zodiac sign of Virgo on 28 August 1977, in New York City USA. He holds American nationality and his ethnicity is of mixed African-American and Ashkenazi-Jewish descent. Jojo has just six acting credits to his name, but is also known for his work as design co-ordinator for the series “Living by Design with Jake and Jazz”.
Jussie and his oldest brother Joel smollett Jr aka Jojo
Early life, family, and education
Jojo was raised in New York City, being the eldest of the six children of their African-American mother Janet Harris, and Russian-Polish Jew Joel Smollett, who met in the Bay Area, California, while they both fought for black civil rights; Janet worked with political activists Huey Newton and Bobby Seal; she was also an acting teacher to her children. Janet and Joel had a happy marriage, full of love and care, which lasted until Joel died from cancer in 2014.
Jojo has two sisters, namely Jurnee and Jazz, and three brothers, Jake, Jocqui and Jussie, all of whom are performers, and acted together in the series “On Our Own” which followed the story about seven Jerrico siblings who are left orphaned after a tragic accident.
Jurnee Smollett was born on 1 October 1986, and as a child acted alongside her brother, Jojo, in “On Our Own”, but today is perhaps known best for her roles in the series “True Blood”, and “Friday Night Lights”, and she was seen in movies such as “The Great Debaters”, “Hands of Stone” and “Birds of Prey”, among others.
Jazz Smollett was born on 1 April 1980, and is, known for her role as Jai Jerrico in “On Our Own”, while to a younger audience is perhaps known best as a co-host of the reality show “Living by Design with Jake and Jazz”, alongside her brother Jake, who is an actor, producer, director, TV host, and celebrity chef, who also had a role in “On Our Own” portraying Joc Jerrico. Jake was born on 29 July 1989 and is today one of the best-selling cookbook authors.
Jocqui Smollett was born on 1 August 1993, and portrayed Jarreau Jerrico in “On Our Own”, then in 2016 alongside Jazz and Jake, he hosted the family show “Smollett Eats”.
However, the most famous of all the siblings is Jussie Smollett, who was born on 21 June 1982, and is a singer and actor with over 20 credits to his name. Jussie portrayed Jesse Jerrico in “On Our Own”, while today is best known for his role in the series “Empire”, in which he portrayed Jamal Lyon, starring alongside Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson.
Speaking about Jojo’s educational background, he attended a local high school, and upon matriculating in 1995, enrolled at Pierce College in Los Angeles, California, from which he graduated with a BA in 1999.
Jojo made his acting debut in 1991, portraying Desmond in the movie “City of Hope”, acting alongside Vincent Spano, Stephen Mendillo and Tony Lo Bianco in this crime drama written and directed by John Sayles.
He made his first TV appearance in an episode of the series “Roseanne”, and then was seen as Elijah in the short movie “Last Breeze of Summer”, before he was cast to play his most significant role as Jimi Jerrico in the series “On Our Own”, broadcast in 1994 and ‘95.
Two years later, Jojo portrayed Stephen Furnald in an episode of the series “The Practice”, starring Dylan McDermott, Lara Flynn Boyle and Kelli Williams, which had 117 award nominations and won 58, including 15 Primetime Emmys.
The same year, he played Frasier Norris in “Moesha”, which was his last acting role, but was later seen in the reality television series “Smollett Eats”, alongside his siblings.
Love life and relationships
Jojo prefers to keep his private life away from the media’s attention, and although he has social media profiles he hasn’t posted anything, and it’s hard to find information regarding his love life and relationships.
As of February 2022, it’s assumed that Jojo is single, he hasn’t been married or engaged, and doesn’t have children.
What is Jojo doing now?
Jojo is currently the head of a non-profit organization, that helps developmentally disabled people to prepare for the workforce.
After he retired from acting, Jojo mostly worked as a producer and art department staff for the series starring his younger siblings; he withdrew from public life, and it seems that he helps his brothers and sisters to achieve their dreams, there to support and advise them.
When his brother, Jussie, was accused of lying to authorities about being the victim of a homophobic, racist attack, Jojo appeared in “Morning in America”, and talked about how hard it is for his brother to be accused of something that he didn’t do. He also said that all of the family feel his sorrow and pain, since they are very close. He also wrote an essay for BET.com saying: ‘Like so many others, this entire process quickly devolved from a focus on him as a victim of assault, to him being falsely accused and held responsible for a crime that was perpetrated against him.’
The legal saga of the “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, ended with him found guilty of lying to police about being attacked, and although the charges carry a possible sentence of three years in jail, according to legal experts, he will probably be sentenced to probation, and ordered to perform community service, which will be known when he returns to the court for sentencing on 10 March 2022.
Age, height, and net worth
Jojo is 44 years old, with short black hair and brown eyes; he weighs around 175lbs (79kgs) and is 5ft 10ins (1.77m) tall.
As of February 2022, his net worth has been estimated at over $1.5 million.