Jurnee Smollett-Bell

by ethnic on May 26, 2010

Birth Name: Jurnee Diana Smollett

Place of Birth: New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: October 1, 1986

*Ashkenazi Jewish (father)
*African-American, Native American, Louisiana Creole, Irish (mother)

Jurnee Smollett-Bell, also credited as Jurnee Smollett, is an American actress. She played Samantha Booke in the film The Great Debaters. She is the daughter of Janet (Harris) and Joel Smollett. Her siblings include Jojo Smollett, Jazz Smollett, Jussie Smollett, Jake Smollett, and Jocqui Smollett, all of whom have been involved in the entertainment business.

Jurnee’s father, who was white, was Ashkenazi Jewish (from a family from Romania, Russia, and Poland). Jurnee’s mother is black.

Jurnee stated in an interview that her mother has African-American, Native American, Louisiana Creole, and Irish ancestry.

Jurnee is married to musician Josiah Bell, with whom she has a son.

Jurnee’s paternal grandfather was Peter Smollett (the son of David Smollett and Dawley/Dawlly Levy). Peter was born in New York. David was a Romanian Jewish emigrant, born in Iași, the son of Jacob Smollett and Rebecca. Dawley was born in New York, to Polish Jewish parents, Charles Levy and Esty Cohen.

Jurnee’s paternal grandmother is named Molly Hirschenson.

Jurnee’s maternal grandparents are John Harris and Grace Smith.

Sources: Jurnee’s paternal grandfather, Peter Smollett, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Obituary of Jurnee’s paternal grandfather, Peter Smollett – http://www.legacy.com

Marriage record of Jurnee’s paternal great-grandparents, David Smollett and Dawley/Dawlly Levy – https://www.familysearch.org

photo by s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

perez-richart May 25, 2018 at 7:12 am

she is mixed

phaedra May 12, 2016 at 5:59 pm

She looks like Alicia Keys.

archer303 December 26, 2015 at 2:44 pm

According to Wikipedia she’s black and white.

myarmyrulesyours August 23, 2014 at 9:52 am

Jurnee is white. She is not black or biracial.

perez-richart September 7, 2015 at 9:34 pm

she looks birracial to me

cwm85 September 8, 2015 at 5:53 pm

Um… she is multiracial moron. It id posted unless you can’t read.

brilee_ November 16, 2015 at 2:44 pm

She isn’t just white, she’s multiracial lol

bustygoddess December 6, 2015 at 9:02 pm

Wtf?! I didn’t even know she had any white blood, stop acting so damn ignorant, you moron!

Samiiraa September 14, 2016 at 11:29 am

It’s pretty obvious she has white blood …

bleachsoda April 23, 2016 at 1:50 pm

she is mixed lol

mixedchick December 10, 2013 at 11:31 am

all of y’all shut the fuck up. let her be who she wants to be she is mixed race. you can never in life tell a person who they want to be or who they are where they came from. let me explain this to your dumb asses. when to different cultures or race come together to create a child that means it’s mixed how stupid can you all get. you just jealous that y’all are probably not mixed.

the punisher November 27, 2013 at 3:24 pm

just testing

kim November 17, 2013 at 9:36 am


Clarisse Foxx November 17, 2013 at 4:16 pm

according to this she mixed..

Clarisse Foxx November 17, 2013 at 1:24 am

damnnn shes mixed with a lot but she should to wear her hair straight or like this because i hated it on true blood

Tribe7 March 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm

I think Jewish is an ethnicity as well as a religious affiliation.

andrew March 19, 2013 at 2:54 pm

antropology says there are three human races: caucasoid, mongoloid, negroid (alphabetical order). Jews are a sub-race of the caucasoid race.

nnnnn March 20, 2013 at 1:34 am

They invented one more race

anakaren November 14, 2012 at 4:03 am

im sorry but her race is african american!!

fuzzybear44 November 14, 2012 at 5:57 am

African American isn’t actually a race either,it’s more our cultural Identity or heritage.Also no we are not the Negroid race either,that’s something a racist fool came up with.Everyone is part of the same race,Human

Mm February 5, 2013 at 11:24 am

African american is a term used to refer to african descendants from the united states. It’s better than the outdated term ‘negroid’ that you keep spewing all over this site.

fuzzybear44 April 3, 2013 at 2:28 am


( It’s better than the outdated term ‘negroid’ that you keep spewing all over this site)

Excuse me,I believe you have me confused with someone else.I always say African american is the cultural ID,as I did above.

Anna Rae December 11, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Uh no, she’s half black and half white. Come on you can look at her and tell that she isn’t just black. Up and down this website I’ve heard people call every mix person just black. It’s retarded. Since when did black become the dominant race of everyone? How are you going to sit here and tell these people what they are and what they aren’t? Smh go to bed..

midori29 April 2, 2013 at 5:33 pm

African American is mostly black but with admixture down the line. The article says her mother is African American, native American, Creole (which is still black) and Irish, I bet her mother is like 85%-90% African and like 10-15% other. if her mother was soooo exotic Jurnee would not look so black/African American.

Black people always like to bring up races from centuries ago to add to themselves making them “oh soo exotic”

fuzzybear44 April 3, 2013 at 2:35 am


Well you can be 50% white,and still be AA.Also when it come to Creoles,DNA wise there’s no fix % with them.So it’s no telling what that mother is.Some of that black blood could come from the father,or maybe your right;who knows

Anasie June 25, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Midori29 you’re on a website that details the ethnicity of celebrities…you’re complaining about her maternal racial identity…come on.

Oh and why do black people like to make themselves “oh soo exotic”? If thats who you are then thats who you are.

tomcics1 April 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm

The picture shown here appears to me to be the picture of actress
‘Meta Golding’, not Jurnee Diana Smollett.

Could this picture be wrong? Please see link below.


ethnic May 1, 2012 at 6:20 am

not sure about that. Meta has a narrower jaw.

Jessica-Tere October 18, 2012 at 7:27 pm

The picture above is definitely jurnee smolett….

Seba March 21, 2012 at 6:27 pm

LOL! Now u see for years many of u assumed what u wanted too regarding her heritage! What’s the difference between her and any other celebrity of color that is whos roots have been identified???!!!! Ridiculous isn’t it!!!!! See how sily u sound arguing about ones heritage when its been proven!!!!

Mm February 5, 2013 at 11:31 am

exactly! People r so sad. Instead all this debate ‘oh there’s only one race, the human race’. people need to just except the fact that not everyone feels that way. We don’t have to be racist to be proud of who we are. Jurnee is biracial.

roots March 15, 2012 at 8:06 pm

so what makes her Malutto?? and Paula Patterson black??

Jessica-Tere October 18, 2012 at 7:34 pm

I’m sorry did you mean Paula Patton? Anywhoo…..there is no difference here. When it comes to being mixed it’s all about how the person sees their own self and what they identify with.

dvanilla March 8, 2012 at 9:58 am

She is very pretty!

mee March 1, 2012 at 3:12 am
magnus February 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Her father was Jewish but her mother was African.

Angantyr February 12, 2012 at 1:57 am

Yes she is.

Anissa DelGrosso January 30, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Honestly She Is A Pretty Girl && I Loved Her In Eve’s Bayou. I LOVE HER!

char February 6, 2012 at 8:57 pm
Mary February 9, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Jurnee’s father is a man who is of the White race and her mother is a woman who is of the Black race.

ONLY ANGLO-SAXONS ARE WHITE March 13, 2012 at 10:22 pm

I can’t believe you said this, Mary! Where are the stones?

sycogcx January 23, 2012 at 10:03 pm

I member her from eves bayou she was so cute

lynsey January 20, 2012 at 11:33 pm

she’s only african american

MandaChick! January 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Seriously? You know what they meant. Her father’s white and her mother’s black.
Anyway, she’s one of my fav actresses. Loved her in “Eve’s Bayou.”

Anissa DelGrosso January 30, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Actually No It Doesn’t. Because My Mom’s Friend Is Jewish & She Is Black. So I Don’t Understand Where You Get The Whole Entire White Thing From.??

char February 6, 2012 at 9:04 pm

People have a right to subscribe to any belief they want.

ONLY ANGLO-SAXONS ARE WHITE March 13, 2012 at 10:22 pm

I’m shocked.

Lala January 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Such a beautiful girl. Inside, out.

Amanda January 9, 2012 at 4:25 pm

She is really pretty!

That Black Guy January 8, 2012 at 6:54 am

So beautiful.

mdd September 1, 2011 at 11:11 pm

eve’s bayou is a classic with megan good when they were younger. you should check out “on our own” which an older sitcom from the 1990s with more of Jurnee’s siblings.

murray March 20, 2011 at 3:08 pm

I have no corrections, but I do have a question, Ms Smollett was in a movie I recently saw EVE’S BAYOU, and I thought she was absolutely amazing in this film, I would like to know if she is in any new film? If yes what is the title and when will it be released? If you would like you can relay my message to her.

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