Joel Smollett's bio: Who is the patriarch of the Smollett family?

Joel Smollett's bio: Who is the patriarch of the Smollett family?

Joel Smollett is best known as the patriarch of the Smollett family. He was not in the limelight most of his life but is respected as the pillar that built his famous children. He inspired and encouraged his children to pursue careers in the entertainment industry.

Joel Smollett
Joel with his family. Photo: @jazzsmollett, @jurneesmollett (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Joel Smollett built a close-knit family that supported each other to become stars. His legacy lives on through his children, who often state how instrumental he was in their lives.

Profile summary

Full nameJoel Smollett
Date of birth8th October 1956
Date of demise7th January 2015
Age at death58 years
Place of birthRussia
Place of demiseUnited States of America
Zodiac signLibra
Height in feet5’ 7"
Height in centimetres170
Hair colourBlack
Eye colourDark brown
Marital statusMarried until death
WifeJanet Smollett
FatherPeter Smollett
MotherMolly Hirschenson
ProfessionFormer civil rights champion and cable splicer

Who is Joel Smollett?

Joel Smollett is a former cable splicer and civil rights champion. He is best known as the patriarch of the Smollett family, which is famous for its impact on the global entertainment scene.

PAY ATTENTION: Follow us on Instagram - get the most important news directly in your favourite app!

How old is Joel Smollett?

Joel Smollett died at the age of 58 years. He was born on 8th October 1956 and took his last breath on 7th January 2015. His Zodiac sign was Libra.

What nationality was Joel Smollett?

The late cable splicer's nationality was American. He was born in Russia and spent part of his early years in Poland. His family immigrated to the United States of America when he was in his late teens. He acquired American citizenship.

What race is Jussie Smollett's father?

Joel Smollett's race is White. He had Jewish-Russian-Polish ancestry. He was raised in the Jewish religion.

Who are Joel Smollett's parents?

Joel Smollett's father was Peter Smollett, a Polish Jew. His mother was Molly Hirschenson, a hardworking lady of Russian descent. The cable splicer reportedly had one sibling, but little is known about them.

How did Joel Smollett die?

Joel Smollett's cause of death was cancer. He battled the disease bravely until his demise. His children spent time with him before his demise and did their best to give him the best medical treatment and care.

What type of cancer did Joel Smollett have? The family did not disclose the type of cancer he battled. During his burial ceremony, Joel Smollett's obituary featured beautiful tributes from his children and other family members.


After immigrating to the United States of America, Joel started working as a cable splicer to support his family. He was also actively involved in the fight for civil rights.

Who is Joel Smollett's wife?

The late cable splicer was married to Janet until his demise. The two first met in the Bay Area as he was championing civil rights.

Janet was a young and driven lady of African-American heritage. She was from New Orleans and was also passionate about defending civil rights. The two fell in love and got married in their twenties. Their union thrived, and they were blessed with six mixed-race children.

Who are Joel Smollett's children?

Joel and Janet built a family of six children, four male and two female children. All his children are adults.

Jojo Smollett

Joel Smollett's children
Jojo on the set of On Our Own on 10th March 1995. Photo: @ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content
Source: Getty Images

Jojo is the firstborn in the family. He was born on 28th August 1977 in New York City, New York, United States of America, making him 44 years old as of 2022. His Zodiac sign is Virgo.

Jojo is an actor and producer. He was more active in the 1990s. He has not appeared on the big screen in a while. He has six acting credits.

City of Hope1991Desmond
Roseanne 1991Chuck Jr.
Last Breeze of Summer 1991Elijah
On Our Own 1995 - 1995Jimi Jerrico
The Practice1997Stephan Furnald
Moesha 1997Frasier Norris

Jazz Smollett

Jazz is the secondborn and the first daughter in the family. She was born on 1st April 1980, making her 42 years old as of 2022.

She is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and is an actress and producer. She was married to Troy Warwell from 2012 to 2019 and is a mother of a daughter called Nylah.

She produced the 29th Annual Trumpet awards, Living by Design with Jake and Jazz, and Urban One Honors 2021 and has three acting credits.

On Our Own 1994 - 1995Jai Jerrico
I Want You 2007Lennox Jones
Living by Design with Jake and Jazz 2019Self

Jussie Smollett

Jussie is arguably the most famous male child in the family because he has appeared in over 20 films and television shows. He is the second male child and the third born in the home.

He was born on 21st June 1982 in Santa Rosa, California, United States of America. He is 40 years old as of 2022, and his Zodiac sign is Gemini.

Jussie has 22 acting, six producer, and two director credits. Some of his roles are listed below.

A Little Piece of Heaven 1991Salem Bordeaux
Queen 1993Simon
On Our Own1994 - 1995Jesse Jerrico
The Mindy Project 2012Barry Stassen
Underground 2016Josey
Alien: Covenant2017Ricks
Star2017Jamal Lyon
Empire2015 - 2019Jamal Lyon

Jurnee Smollett

Jurnee is the second daughter and the fourth-born of the family. She is an award-winning actress and activist of rare talent and conviction.

Jurnee was born on 1st October 1986 in New York City, New York, United States of America, and is 35 years old as of 2022. Her Zodiac sign is Libra. She has starred in over 40 films and television series and has two producer credits. Check out some of her works below.

Sunday in Paris1991Alison Chase
Full House1992 - 1994Denise Frazer
On Our Own 1994 - 1995Jordee Jerrico
Wanda at Large 2003Holly Hawkins
Grey's Anatomy2008Beth Monroe
Bad Girls2012Gwen Delfino
True Blood 2013 - 2014Nicole Wright
Underground2016 - 2017Rosalee
Sofia the First 2017 - 2018Chrysta
Lovecraft Country 2020Letitia 'Leti' Lewis
Untitled Birds of Prey/Black Canary Project 2023Dinah Lance/ Black Canary

Jake Smollett

Jake, the fifth child in the family, is also an actor. Besides acting, he is a celebrity chef, television host and best-selling cookbook author.

He was born on 29th July 1989 and is 33 years old as of 2022. His Zodiac sign is Leo, and he has six acting credits.

Hangin' with Mr. Cooper1992Jake
On Our Own 1994 - 1995Joc Jerrico
Eve's Bayou1997Poe Batiste
The Middleman 2008Noser
Pitch This 2009Luke
Living by Design with Jake and Jazz 2019Self

Jocqui Smollett

Jocqui is the last born in the family. He was born on 1st August 1993 in Los Angeles, California, United States of America. He is 29 years old as of 2022, and his Zodiac sign is Leo.

He starred in On Our Own as Jarreau Jerrico, alongside his siblings. He also appeared in Amanda's Return (2009) and Pitch This (2009).

Unlike his siblings, Jocqui does not like being in the limelight. He is into tech, real estate investment, and public speaking.

Are Jake and Jazz Smollett twins?

Jake and Jazz are not twins. Jake is the fifth born, while Jazz is the second. The two have a nine-year gap.

Are Jurnee and Jussie Smollett twins?

Jurnee and Jussie are not twins. However, they follow each other in their birth order. Jussie was born on 21st June 1982 and is the third born, while Jurnee was born on 1st October 1986 and is the fourth born in the family.

How tall was Joel Smollett?

The patriarch of the family was 5’ 7" or 170 centimetres tall. He has black hair and brown eyes.


  • His grandparents were David Smollett and Dawley Levy.
  • He was approximately four years younger than his wife Janet, born on 27th November 1952.

The late Joel Smollett was a dedicated family man who raised wonderful children. He passed away in early 2015, leaving behind his wife Janet and his six successful kids.

READ ALSO: Luis Armand Garcia’s biography: where is Max from George Lopez now? recently published Luis Armand Garcia’s biography. Garcia is best known as Max from George Lopez. He is an American actor who gained prominence in 2002.

The actor made his acting debut in 2000 when he starred in the television show ER. Besides acting, he is actively involved in charity work. He runs a foundation called Hands on Horses, which assists American children in settling in foster homes.


Online view pixel