Four years before Jada Pinkett-Smith made her film debut in 1993 on the set of Menace II Society, she was playing a variety of roles on network television. In 1990, she played Natalia on the TV movie, Moeâ€™s World, alongside Tisha Campbell and Duane Martin; that same year she appeared on True Colors as Beverly; one year later she landed a one-time role on Doogie Howser, M.D.; followed by a quick role on the TV series of 21 Jump Street. And while Menace II Society may have served has her introduction to film, it wasnâ€™t until her role on A Different World as Lena James that she began to get noticed.
In 1994, the Baltimore-born actress starred in three filmsâ€”The Inkwell, Jasonâ€™s Lyric and A Low Down Dirty Shameâ€”the following year she took on the role of Jeryline in Tales From the Crypt. But just one year later, in 1996, Pinkett-Smith starred alongside Eddie Murphy in The Nutty Professor, and from there her film career just couldnâ€™t slow down. The classic film, Set It Off, released that same year showing the first lady of Black Hollywood in one of her most pivotal roles to date.
Since then, the actress properly known as Jada Koren Pinkett has starred in 17 additional films including Ali, The Women, The Matrix Reloaded and Madagascar. But the big screen wasnâ€™t the only passion she continued to follow. In 2003, Jada partnered with her husband to produce the four-season sitcom, All of Us, and went on to produce her own show on TNT in 2009, Hawthorne. There she played the role of Christina Hawthorne, and lived there until 2011 making $150,000 per episode.