We all remember that time Jada Pinkett Smith’s husband slapped Chris Rock for making fun of her hair, but there’s a lot more to the talk show host than that infamous Oscar moment. From her early roles in hit TV shows like A Different World, to her time hosting her own digital talk show, Red Table Talk, Pinkett Smith’s star power has lasted the test of time. So without further ado, here’s the evolution of Jada Pinkett Smith.
Jada Pinkett Smith was born Jada Koren Pinkett, on September 18, 1971, in Baltimore, Maryland. Her mother, Adrienne Banfield Jones, and her grandmother, Marion Martin Banfield, raised Pinkett Smith. Her mother now co-hosts her show with her and Pinkett Smith’s daughter Willow Smith.
Pinkett Smith attended the Baltimore School for the Arts with her close friend and future co-star, Tupac Shakur. In a 2017 interview, she said that she met and Tupac met because she was dealing drugs. However, after a negative experience she left that world, but Tupac got pulled in deeper.
She got her first acting role in 1990 on Moe’s World. Her big break occurred in 1991 when she worked on A Different World. She had a recurring role from 1991-1993 as Lena James. Her first feature film role was Menace II Society in 1993. Her long-time friend Tupac Shakur encouraged her to take the role in the film, even though he was fired from the film.
Jada Enters The Music Industry
In 1995, she began directing music videos. She directed N-Vee’s music video for “I’m Going Down,” along with other R&B/Hip Hop artists. In 2002, Pinkett Smith created a metal band Wicked Wisdom, which opened for Brittany Spears’ Onyx Hotel Tour in Europe.
Jada’s Fresh Prince
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith met on the set of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air when she auditioned for a role on the show. She did not get the part, but their relationship sparked from there. Smith was married at the time. But he split from his wife, Sheree Zampino, in 1995. Pinkett Smith later expressed regret for her role in the marriage ending.
Back to Films
In 1996, her star continued to rise after her prominent roles in The Nutty Professor alongside Eddie Murphy and Set it Off alongside Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox, and Kimberly Elise. In the 2000s, Pinkett Smith starred in the Matrix sequels as Niobe. Since the early 2000s, Pinkett Smith went on to be the voice of Gloria in the Madagascar films and starred in Girls Trip alongside Queen Latifah, Regina Hall, and Tiffany Haddish.
And She’s an Author
In 2004, Pinkett Smith published a children’s book about girl empowerment called, Girls Hold up This World.
On her show, Pinkett Smith opened up about her relationship with musician August Alsina in 2015. The relationship occurred during her and Smith’s temporary split. She and Smith maintain that they never cheated on each other.
Red Table Talk is Born
In 2018, Pinkett Smith started her show Red Table Talk on Facebook Watch alongside her daughter, Willow Smith, and her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris. The show has won Daytime Emmy and NAACP Image Awards. In 2019, Red Table Talk won an MTV Trailblazer Award.
Smith and Pinkett Smith got engaged in November of 1997. They later married in December of 1997 in Pinkett Smith’s hometown of Baltimore.
The Next Generation
Pinkett Smith gave birth to her first child, Jaden Christopher Syre Smith, in July of 1998 and her daughter, Willow Camille Reign Smith, in 2000. Both Jaden and Willow have gone on to become successful musicians and actors.
Her Battle with Alopecia
In an Instagram post in 2018, Pinkett Smith showed off her newly shaved head and explained that she had been diagnosed with Alopecia. At first, she said that losing her hair terrified her but that she was later able to come to terms with it.
The Slap Heard Around The World
During the 2022 Oscars, host Chris Rock joked about Pinkett Smith’s baldness due to her Alopecia. Her husband, Will Smith, then went on stage and smacked the comedian in the face for his comments. Pinkett Smith addressed the infamous slap on her show, Red Table Talk, in a special episode that raised awareness about Alopecia.