While most people know her best as Will Smith’s other half, there’s a lot more to Jada Pinkett Smith than her A-list husband. The 50-year-old entertainer has had a notable, decades-long career of her own that’s included TV shows, movies, music, and more. And while her other half may technically be the breadwinner of the family, this multi-talented star’s salary is nothing to scoff at. Here, we take a look at Jada Pinkett Smith’s net worth and her many career accomplishments.
Jada Pinkett Smith’s Acting Career
Jada Pinkett Smith kicked off her career back in the early 1990s as an aspiring young actress. After booking a few small roles on TV shows like Doogie Howser, M.D. and 21 Jump Street, she was cast in a recurring role as college student Lena James on the final two seasons of the popular NBC sitcom, A Different World.
Not long after that, Pinkett Smith was encouraged by friend Tupac Shakur to audition for a role in an upcoming movie he was cast in called Menace II Society. While Shakur ended up dropping out of the project, Pinkett Smith landed the part and was encouraged by her pal to take the job. “Pac was like, ‘You have to do the movie, this is going to be great for your career,’” she explained in a 2018 interview with Vanity Fair. “So I did, and he was right. Because from then on, I had a movie career.”
That career included a string of high-profile films, including the 1994 action-comedy A Low Down Dirty Shame, the 1996 remake of The Nutty Professor, Spike Lee’s Bamboozled, and the Oscar-nominated 2001 biopic, Ali.
In 2003, Pinkett Smith landed her most memorable role to date as Niobe in The Matrix sequels The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.
According to the actress, the role was tailor-made for her. “What I loved about Niobe was that she was created for me,” Pinkett Smith said in a 2003 interview with the Chicago Tribune. “I met the Wachowskis [writer/directors] for the first Matrix, so I really didn’t need to read anything when I was told ‘They created this character for you.'”
Over the next decade and a half, Pinkett Smith continued to land roles in box office hits such as Collateral, The Women, all three of the Madagascar animated movies, Men in Black 3, Bad Moms, and Girls Trip. She also returned to TV, starring in the TNT medical drama Hawthorne and the FOX crime drama Gotham.
Red Table Talk
Since 2018, Pinkett Smith has hosted and executive produced Red Table Talk on Facebook Watch. She shares hosting duties with her daughter, Willow Smith, and her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris. The show often makes headlines, as it features celebrity guests and tackles controversial subjects, including Pinkett Smith’s own relationship with her husband.
Pinkett Smith says the underlying intention of Red Table Talk is to shatter misconceptions about black women. “To be able to sit [as] three black women and see the variety of perspectives is really interesting,” she said in a 2021 interview with Rolling Stone. “Because I know a lot of people just like to put black women in one big old pot. That myth has to be dissolved.”
In addition to being a much-buzzed-about hit, Red Table Talk won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2021 for Outstanding Talk Show Informative. The show also scored a nomination for Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host(s) and Outstanding Daytime Non-fiction Special for the episode featuring Will Smith.
Also in 2021, the show partnered with iHeartMedia to launch the Red Table Talk Audio Network, which features podcast versions of the original Red Table Talk and Red Table Talk: The Estefans, which is hosted by singer Gloria Estefan and her daughter and niece.
Her Little-Known Music Career
You might be surprised to hear that Pinkett Smith has also dabbled in music. Back in 2002, she formed a heavy metal band called Wicked Wisdom. Fronting as the band’s singer, the actress was inspired by the hard-rocking music she listened to as a child. “I listened to all kinds of metal as a kid,” Pinkett Smith told MTV in 2006. “Metallica, Guns N’ Roses. I would always look at Axl Rose and say, ‘Why aren’t there any chicks out there doing this now?’ I always wanted an opportunity to get out there and rock out.”
Wicked Wisdom opened for Britney Spears on her Onyx Hotel Tour in 2004. They were also invited to perform at the heavy metal music festival Ozzfest in 2005. In 2006, the band released their first album, Wicked Wisdom, and toured with the band Sevendust.
While promoting one of the band’s tours, the actress-turned-hard-rocker admitted that her pivot to metal may have confused some of her fans. “I think people just needed a minute to get their reality on what the hell was going on,” Pinkett Smith said in a 2006 interview with The San Diego Union-Tribune. “It’s a difficult thing to reconcile. This chick that you’ve seen play Carla Purty [her role in The Nutty Professor] is now in this so-called metal or heavy rock band.”
Pinkett Smith’s Business Ventures
On top of her talents as an actress, talk show host, and singer, Pinkett Smith is quite the savvy businesswoman. In 2005, she became an early investor in the multi-cultural beauty line Carol’s Daughter. She also served as the brand’s spokeswoman. The business started out so small that founder Lisa Price literally sold products from her apartment. Today it is a highly profitable, mainstream brand and is now owned by cosmetics giant L’Oreal.
She also co-founded the eco-friendly personal-care brand, Hey Humans. The brand, which is only available at Target, includes vegan and cruelty-free body washes, lotions, deodorants, and toothpastes, all created with sustainability in mind.
Pinkett Smith is also an author. She wrote the children’s book Girls Hold Up This World in 2005 when her daughter, Willow, was five years old. “I wrote the book for Willow and for her friends and for all the little girls in the world who need affirmation about being female in this pretty much masculine world,” The Women star said in a 2005 interview with USA Today. “I want girls in the world to feel powerful, to know they have the power to change the world in any way they wish.”
Finally, Pinkett Smith teamed up with her husband to launch the production company Westbrook, Inc. in 2019. In addition to producing Red Table Talk, the company has turned out a number of successful shows, including the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion special in 2020. However, there are rumors that it may be acquired by a new media venture led by two big-time former Disney execs.
Jada Pinkett Smith’s Net Worth
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Pinkett Smith’s individual net worth is approximately $50 million. That’s a nice chunk of change in and of itself, but when you combine it with Will Smith’s net worth of $350 million, you have a hefty combined nest egg of $400 million. While we can only speculate about the numbers, it’s likely that the success of Red Table Talk and Westbrook, Inc. has significantly boosted Pinkett Smith’s personal net worth. We also assume she has saved and invested her movie paychecks wisely.
We also assume the Girls Trip star’s real estate portfolio contributes heavily to her impressive financial status. In 2021, she and her husband bought a mega-mansion in Hidden Hills, California, for a whopping $11.3 million. The 10,400-square-foot property sits on 1.9 acres of land and boasts six bedrooms, nine bathrooms, and a chef’s gourmet kitchen, along with a movie theater, a game room, an outdoor pool, a gym, and an outdoor yoga patio.
The couple also shares a massive 25,000-square-foot mega-mansion in Calabasas, which is reported to be worth about $42 million. The huge nine-bedroom family home, which was featured on the cover of Architectural Digest in 2011, took seven years to build and sits on 250 acres of land. In addition to amenities like an outdoor pool and an eight-car garage, it houses the private recording studio that Willow used to record her hit single, “Whip My Hair,” back in 2010.
The Smiths have also done well when it comes to buying and selling—in 2010, they sold a $10 million Hawaiian mansion for $12 million, and in 2011, they sold a $13.5 million Kauai beach house for $20 million.
While Pinkett Smith clearly likes to enjoy many of the finer things in life, she also makes sure to use her wealth and privilege for good. She and her husband founded the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation (WJSFF) in 1996, a non-profit that provides resources and services to inner-city youth. The foundation also gives grants and partners with a range of like-minded organizations, including YouthBuild and the Lupus Foundation of America.
We also know that the actress gave a very generous $1 million donation to her high school alma mater, the Baltimore School for the Arts, in 2006. The donation was used to build a theater dedicated to friend and classmate Tupac Shakur.