She rose to prominence with her role on the hit show Designing Women, but Jean Smart has taken on about a million roles that showcase her talent. She’s one of Hollywood’s most amazing actresses, and she’s not showing any signs of slowing down. What fans seem to love so much about her is that she’s cool, she’s funny, and she’s not afraid to talk back. Her sense of humor is unlike any other, and we adore her for it. She is, hands down, one of the best personalities in the entertainment industry, and we want to know more about her.
1. She’s in Her 70s
It shocks us that Jean Smart is a woman who turned 71 in the fall of 2022. Her date of birth is September 13, 1951, and she looks amazing. She was born in the Pacific Northwest in Seattle, Washington. She’s one of four kids, and she falls squarely into the role of secondborn.
2. Jean Smart has Been Living With Diabetes Almost Her Entire Life
As a child, she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. She was 13 at the time, and the diagnosis was difficult for her and her family. They learned all they could about her illness, and they learned to help her through the hard days. Learning so much about your health and how to care for yourself at such a young age is intimidating, but she did it. She persevered.
3. Jean Smart Has an Interesting Ancestor
She was part of a show titled Who Do You Think You Are, which is a show about people who are looking for information about their past. Smart wanted to learn more about who she is related to and didn’t know about, and she learned something interesting. She is a descendant of a woman famous for being burned at stake during the Salem Witch Trials in Massachusetts. Her name was Dorcas Hoar, and she was one of the very last women ever convicted of practicing witchcraft during the trials.
4. She’s a Trained Actor
When Jean Smart was a student at Ballard High School near her Seattle home, she learned to love acting. She took a huge interest in it, and she applied for the actors’ training program in college. Smart was accepted into the program at the University of Washington. She learned a lot there and used what she learned to grow her fame and become the living legend she is today.
5. She Married Annie Pott’s Boyfriend
You know Annie Potts was one of the main characters in the hit show Designing Women. Mary Jo Shively played the character. Her boyfriend, J.D. Shackelford, was played by actor Richard Gilliland. While they were together on the show, Jean Smart and Gilliland were together in real life. They married in 1987. Sadly, he died in 2021.
6. Jean Smart is a Mom
She’s the mother of two boys. She and her husband welcomed their oldest son in 1989. His name is Connor. They welcomed their second son 20 years later, in 2009, after adopting him from China. His name is Forrest.
7. She Had a Great Childhood
She remembers it happily when she thinks about growing up with her mother, father, and three siblings. Smart recalls her mother and father as very bright, intelligent, and curious. Her father taught history for a living, and her mother was a homemaker who raised her four kids and did a wonderful job of it. She loved her childhood, which shows.
8. She’s Learned to Develop a Smart Mouth
She’s not naturally the smart mouth woman that she seems to be these days. Smart is actually a very nice woman who is kind and innocent, but she’s learned that having a mouth gets you out of trouble. In fact, she says that of all the characters she portrayed in her life, she’s most like her Designing Women character, Charlene.
9. Jean Smart is Not a Morning Person
She has no problem admitting that, either. She just doesn’t prefer the morning to the other times of the day. She’s a woman who sees no valid reason to get out of bed except to take a child to school or to get paid. She finds that being in bed with her husband and staying warm and cozy is what she loves the most. Sadly, she lost her husband a year ago, and that’s been difficult for her.
10. Harry Styles is a Huge Fan of Jean Smart
In fact, he uses her character names as his secret hotel names. He’s invited her to two concerts with her youngest son, and he even sent her flowers. She’s never met him, though, and that is absolutely wild. He adores her, and she’s also a fan in return.
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