Jussie Langston Mikha Smollett (born June 21, 1983) is an American actor, singer and photographer. As a child, he began his acting career for summer fun in 1987 starring in national network commercials in NYC. He later co-starred in the films The Mighty Ducks (1992) and Rob Reiner's North (1994). In 2015, Smollett received rave reviews for his portrayal of musician Jamal Lyon in the Fox music-industry primetime TV drama Empire.
Smollett was born in Santa Rosa, California, and is the son of Janet and Joel Smollett. He has three brothers and two sisters: Jake, Jocqui, Jojo, Jurnee, and Jazz.His father was Jewish (his family emigrated from Russia and Poland). His mother is African-American.