Happy Birthday, Jada Pinkett Smith
Jada Pinkett Smith celebrated her birthday on Sunday (18 September) when she turned the big 4-0! The star who has been dogged by cheating rumours recently managed to brush off her marriage woes and celebrate with family in the US.
The Maryland native has been a Hollywood fixture since her marriage to actor Will Smith in 1997, but she is an accomplished actress, singer and all-round multi-talented star in her own right.
She has had leading roles in films like The Nutty Professor, Collateral, The Matrix Reloaded and Madagascar, and served double duty by starring and executive producing her TV medical series Hawthorne, until it was axed earlier this month (September 2011) after three seasons on air.
Jada manages to juggle her own busy career with her responsibilities as a wife and mother of the couple’s two children, Jaden, 13, and Willow, 10, who are also making their mark in music and film.
Here are 10 fascinating facts on Jada Koren Pinkett:
1. She was named after her mother Adrienne's favourite soap opera actress, Jada Rowland.
2. The actress met her husband Will Smith in 1990 after auditioning for a role as his on-screen girlfriend in TV comedy The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She didn't get the role because at only five feet (1.52 metres) tall, she was considered too short – and it instead went to Nia Long.
3. When she's not working in Hollywood, she's rocking out as the frontwoman of the band Wicked Wisdom, which she founded in 2002.
4. Jada became a close friend of rap icon Tupac Shakur after meeting him at the Baltimore School for the Arts, where they were both students.
5. She was crowned Miss Maryland in a beauty pageant in 1988.
6. The actress starred in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions as human rebel Niobe, a character written specifically for her by the Wachowski Brothers.
7. She is a spokesmodel and one of several celebrity investors in beauty product brand Carol's Daughter.
8. Jada turned to her mother, a nurse, for advice while starring as Chief Nursing Officer Christina Hawthorne in the TV medical drama Hawthorne to ensure the hospital scenes were as realistic as possible.
9. She tried her hand at clothing design in 1994 when she launched her own women's fashion label, Maja.
10. The superstar couple is big on charity - in 2001, they established the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation, an organisation focusing on education and inner-city family welfare.
Happy birthday Jada.