Jada Pinkett Smith
actress, video director, clothing designer
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland
Jada Pinkett Smith dropped out of the North Carolina School of Arts after just one year and headed to Hollywood. The plan paid off. Once there she made the right contacts and landed her first major role on the Cosby Show spin-off: A Different World (1991–93). It wasn't until she played opposite Eddie Murphy in The Nutty Professor (1995) that Pinkett-Smith gained widespread recognition, however, which was enhanced with her marriage to Will Smith. Pinkett-Smith's other films include, Woo (1998), Force Majeure (1998), Bamboozled (2000), and 2003's The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. Kids know her as the voice of Gloria the hippo in Madagascar (2005). She's also the lead singer of the rock band Wicked Wisdom.