Janet Smollett Shaped Her Six Children’s Career By Acitivism

November 24, 2023   | March 22, 2024  | 

    Janet Smollett is the mother of the extremely talented six Smollett siblings, which includes the Empire actor, Jussie Smollett. The family has been in the media limelight due to their successful and active engagement in the Hollywood industry. This has also shifted the interest of the audience to the life of their parents.

    Here, we will have a peek at the life the celebrity mom had and has been living. Along with this, we will also have a look into her professional involvement with her partner and children.

    Key Takeaways

    • The mother of the Smollett siblings, Janet is of mixed ethnicity.
    • Young Janet was an active member of the U.S. Civil Rights Activist groups but settled down as a homemaker.
    • Smollett was married to her late husband for 48 years who passed away in 2015 from Cancer.
    • Janet’s children helped her discover her passion for cooking and released a cookbook together.
    • Janet was rumored to be related to the vice-president of U.S., Kamala Harris.

    Janet Smollett Comes From African-American Background

    Smollett was born on November 27, 1952, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her parents gave her the name Janet Faye Harris.

    Jussie Smollett's mom, Janet is African American Philanthropist.
    Janet comes from a mixed ethnic background. Source: Instagram.

    Janet belonged to mixed ethnic parents including American and African parents. The further details about her parents or early life are not known to many, as her name became popular only due to her children.

    Janet Worked As a Civil Rights Activist

    The only concrete detail we know about the 71-year-old mom is that she was involved in the civil rights services. Janet was a very active member of the US Civil Rights movement alongside Huey Newton and Bobby Seale.

    Apart from this, it is assumed that she was involved in the educational sector. Smollett was reported to be a teacher.

    Smollett Married an Activist, Joel, the Father of her Six Children

    Janet found the love of her life while working as an activist. She met Joel Smollet, a Russian-Polish man who was also a well-known Civil Rights Activist.

    Janet with her husband Joel Smollett.
    Smollett met during a social campaign and married Joel in 1976.

    The two fell in love and dated for a few years. They decided to get married when Janet was 24 and Joel was just 20 years old. She walked down the aisle with her lover in the year 1976.

    Janet and Joel’s Children Are Popular

    The two lovebirds soon started a family and extended it to up to 8 members with 6 children. The Smollet couple are parents to six children, Jojo, born 28th August 1977, Jazz, born 1st April 1980, Jussie born 21st June 1982, Jurnee born 1st October 1986, Jake born 29th July 1989, and Jocqui, born 2nd August 1994.

    All of their children have grown up and are somehow linked to the entertainment industry. The eldest Jojo is an actor who got wide popularity in 1991. Following him the second child, Jazz is a cook and lifestyle artist.

    The third and fourth children of the family, Jussie and Jurnee are the most popular ones who gained fame in the entertainment world.

    Similarly, their fifth born, Jake initially started his career as a child actor. Finally, the youngest, Jocqui was also a child actor but has settled down as a Data Analysis Manager.

    The Celebrity Mom Released a Cookbook in 2018

    Janet spent most of her time as a homemaker after giving birth to her children. However, later down the line, her kids pushed her to pursue what she loves the most, cooking and as of now, she has released her very own cookbook.

    With an initial collaboration with her son Jake, she released her very first cookbook, The Family Table: Recipes and Moments From a Nomadic Life in 2018. Before this, the family also had a cooking show, Smollett Eats where all the siblings prepare fests and BBQs for several occasions in their family. The show started in 2016 and completed a single season.

    She Has Kept All Her Children Close To One Another

    Janet kept all her children pretty near to herself while they grew up. Her husband had a busy schedule due to his engagement in the field of social service. This led the Smollett Children to spend most of their time with their mother.

    Recent picture of Janet Smollett with her two daughters
    Janet with her two daughters, Jurnee (left) and Jazz. Source: Instagram

    In a 2016 interview with her son Jussie and daughter Jurnee with the New York Times, they shared how Janet was the reason they started acting. They added that Janet promoted creativity and that all six of them had to come up and sing songs during Mother’s Day and Birthdays.

    What is Janet Smollet’s Net Worth?

    Although we do not have much information regarding her financial life of Janet but as of today her net worth is assumed to be around $150k. Similarly, her husband, Joel also had assets of around $50k until his demise.

    On the other hand, her children are worth of million dollars.

    Smollett Lost Her Spouse, Joel to Cancer

    In the year January 7, 2015, Janet lost her husband to cancer. They were married for nearly 5 decades which ended with the death of Joel. Joel was just 58 years old at the time of his death.

    The news about his death was confirmed by his son Jussie on his social media account. Following this, Smollett’s daughter Jurnee also shared a tribute post with a heartwarming caption.

    Janet Has Been Living A Quite Life Since The Passing Away of Her Husband

    Smollett spent more than half of her lifetime with Joel. It was hard for her to get through such a huge loss. Following it she tried her best to console herself by being engaged in cooking shows with her children which also worked somehow.

    At present, she is living a quiet life in the States. Janet occasionally appears in the pictures along with her children on their social media accounts.

    Smollett Was Rumored To Be Related to Kamala Harris: Is It True?

    In early 2019, Janet was assumed to be related to the 49th Vice-President of the United States, Kamala Harris. The rumor escalated of people calling Kamala the aunt of Jussie.

    The reason behind the assumption was the same maiden name the two shared,’ Harris’. The rumor, however, turned out to be false. Hence, Janet and Kamala are not related to one another.

    Quick Facts
    Full Name Janet Smollett
    Birth Place New Orleans, Louisiana
    Birthday November 27, 1952
    Age 71 years
    Nationality American
    Ethnicity African- American
    Profession Activist/Teacher
    Net Worth $100k
    Height 5 feet 6 inches
    Eye Color Brown
    Hair Color Brown
    Sexuality Straight
    Marital Status Widowed
    Spouse Joel Smollett (1956- 2015)
    Children 6 (Jojo Smollett, Jazz Smollett, Jussie Smollett, Jurnee Smollett, Jake Smollett and Jocqui Smollett)