All of Jurnee Smollett's Best Movies and TV Shows, Including "The Burial"
Jurnee Smollett has been in the spotlight for most of her life. The star kicked off her acting career as a child by landing roles in various sitcoms like "Full House" and "On Our Own," the latter of which also starred Smollett's five siblings. After establishing her comedic chops on TV, Smollett began taking on more serious roles by starring in the films "Eve's Bayou" and "Selma, Lord, Selma" as a kid. Since then, Smollett has grown to become a household name with acting credits in "Birds of Prey," "Underground," and "Lovecraft Country."
Smollett's most recent role is in the upcoming legal drama "The Burial." The film stars Jamie Foxx as a lawyer named Willie E. Gary, who takes on a case involving a funeral-home owner, Jerry O'Keefe (Tommy Lee Jones), and a major company known as the Loewen Group. "The Burial" is based on a true story, which was reported by The New Yorker in 1999.
Before "The Burial" arrives on Prime Video on Oct. 13, be sure to catch Smollett's other movies and TV shows, which you can find in the slideshow ahead.
"Full House" (1992-1994)
Smollett landed a role on the hit family sitcom "Full House" when she was just 6 years old. The show centers on a widower named Danny Tanner (Bob Saget) who raises his three daughters — DJ (Candace Cameron Bure), Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin), and Michelle (Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen) — with help from his brother-in-law, Jesse (John Stamos), and best friend, Joey (Dave Coulier). Smollett's character, Denise Frazer, is Michelle's best friend.
"On Our Own" (1994)
Following her stint on "Full House," Smollett went on to star in her very own sitcom: "On Our Own." The series focuses on the seven Jerrico siblings, who are left orphaned after a car crash kills their parents. In order to keep his family together, the eldest sibling, Josh (Ralph Louis Harris), decides to raise his brothers and sisters so they won't have to go into foster care. Other than Josh, the Jerricos are played by real-life siblings Jurnee, Jazz, Jocqui, Jake, Jojo, and Jussie Smollett.
After being forced into early retirement, Hilton Lucas (Bill Cosby) begins enjoying life staying at home with his wife, Ruth (Phylicia Rashad); their daughter, Erica (T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh); and their friend Griffin (Doug E. Doug). The show follows the family's lives as they reside in Astoria, Queens. In the series, Smollett plays an 11-year-old girl named Jurnee who is the daughter of a Lucas family friend.
"Eve's Bayou" (1997)
"Eve's Bayou" focuses on a 10-year-old girl named Eve Batiste, who's living in Louisiana with her parents, Roz (Lynn Whitfield) and Louis (Samuel L. Jackson), as well as her siblings, Poe (Jake Smollett) and Cisely (Meagan Good). The film depicts their familial struggles during the summer of 1962 after Eve starts to believe her father may be having an affair. It also dives into supernatural elements as Eve begins exhibiting the gift of second sight.
"Selma, Lord, Selma" (1999)
"Selma, Lord, Selma" depicts the true story of Sheyann Webb (Smollett), a Black girl who was inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to become a civil rights activist. After her friend Jimmie Lee Jackson is killed, Sheyann participates in a 54-mile march to Montgomery as a form of protest to raise awareness about the unfair treatment of Black people. The event became known as Bloody Sunday after the police attacked those who marched.
"Roll Bounce" (2005)
"Roll Bounce" follows Xavier (Bow Wow), a teenage boy who takes up roller skating to help cope with his mother's death. When the roller rink where he and his friends are star skaters closes down, though, they're forced to start skating at a more upscale spot called Sweetwater Roller Rink, where they enter a contest against the rink's reigning champions to prove themselves. Smollett plays Tori, the new girl in town whom Xavier and his friends befriend.
"The Great Debaters" (2007)
Set in 1935 Texas, "The Great Debaters" follows a professor named Melvin B. Tolson (Denzel Washington) who's in charge of a Black debate team at Wiley College. They're considered the underdogs, but they eventually go on to compete against Harvard University. Smollett plays one of the team members named Samantha Booke.
"Friday Night Lights" (2009-2011)
Smollett joined the cast of "Friday Night Lights" in 2009. The sports drama series is based on the 1990 book of the same name by H. G. Bissinger. The show, which ran for five seasons, centers on a high school football team in Texas as they try to make it to the championships. Smollett plays one of the students at Dillion High named Jess Merriweather.
"Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor" (2013)
A marriage counselor tells one of her clients a story about her sister, Judith (Smollett), which leads the film to be told in a series of flashbacks. We learn that Judith is a matchmaker who's married to her childhood sweetheart, Brice (Lance Gross). After she becomes dissatisfied with her marriage, Judith becomes tempted by a wealthy man named Harley (Robbie Jones). The pair soon begin having an affair, and after Brice learns of their relationship, Judith is forced to choose between the two men.
"True Blood" (2013-2014)
"True Blood" is a fantasy series that takes place in a world where vampires exist and are determined to fight for equal rights. The show centers on a telepathic waitress named Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) who falls in love with 174-year-old vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer). Smollett became a series regular during the sixth season of "True Blood," portraying Nicole Wright, an activist who fights for supernatural rights.
"The Defenders" (2010-2011)
"The Defenders" is a legal comedy-drama that follows two defense attorneys named Nick (Jim Belushi) and Pete (Jerry O'Connell) who do everything they can to help their clients. According to TV Guide, the show was inspired by real-life attorneys Michael Cristalli and Marc Saggese, who worked in Las Vegas. In the show, Smollett plays a young lawyer named Lisa Tyler.
"Underground" tells the story of a group of slaves on a Georgia plantation owned by Tom Macon. One day, the men and women known as the "Macon 7" band together to escape their plantation and embark on a 600-mile journey toward freedom. One of the members of the Macon 7, Rosalee, is played by Smollett.
"Lovecraft Country" (2020)
"Lovecraft Country" is a horror drama set during the Jim Crow era in the 1950s. It's based on the 2016 novel of the same name by Matt Ruff. Both the show and book follow a man named Atticus as he embarks on a journey to find his missing father along with his uncle George and childhood friend Letitia (Smollett).
"Birds of Prey" (2020)
In "Birds of Prey," Harley Quinn and the Joker are broken up. Since their split means Harley Quinn is no longer under the Joker's protection, criminals across Gotham City seize the opportunity to target her after she previously wronged them. One of those criminals includes crime lord Roman Sionis, who kidnaps Harley Quinn's friend Cassandra Cain. This leads Harley to team up with superheroes Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Black Canary (Smollett), and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) in order to take down Sionis.
"Spiderhead" is a science-fiction film on Netflix about a group of inmates staying at a luxurious prison known as Spiderhead. In order to reduce their sentences, the prisoners volunteer to participate in a series of experiments involving various drugs. Smollett plays Lizzy, who forms a connection with a fellow inmate named Jeff (Miles Teller).
A woman named Lou Adell (Allison Janney) is living a quiet life with her dog, Jax, on Orcas Island in Washington. She is the landlady of Hannah Dawson (Smollett), who has a daughter named Vee. After a hitchhiker kidnaps Vee, Hannah is forced to ask Lou for help in tracking her down.
"The Burial" (2023)
After funeral-home owner Jerry O'Keefe (Tommy Lee Jones) gets into a contract dispute with the Loewen funeral company, he goes to lawyer Willie E. Gary (Jamie Foxx) for help saving his business. The film depicts the pair's lawsuit against the corporation as they fight to unravel the company's shady business practices. Smollett plays attorney Mame Downes, whom Loewen hires to help them in their case.