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Jada Pinkett Smith was born to Robson Pinkett Jr. and Adrienne Banfield in Baltimore, Maryland. Her father was a contractor and her mother was a nurse. They divorced after only a few months of marriage. She majored in dance and choreography at the Baltimore School for the Arts, where one of her classmates was Tupac Shakur. She spent a year at the North Carolina School of the Arts before dropping out to pursue her career in acting. Her big break came in 1991 when she was cast in the part of a college frosh on the television sitcom "A Different World" (1987). She made her feature film debut two years later in Menace II Society (1993). She did not gain widespread recognition, however, until her role opposite Eddie Murphy in The Nutty Professor (1996). In addition to being in front of the camera, she has spent time behind it directing music videos. Pinkett-Smith is married to Will Smith, and they have a son, Jaden Christopher Syre Smith; and a daughter, Willow Camille Reign Smith.