Will Smith is an American actor, producer, rapper, comedian, and songwriter.
His full name is Willard Carroll Smith Jr.
Smith was born on September 25, 1968 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
He has three siblings, sister Pamela, who is four years older, and twins Harry and Ellen, who are three years younger.
His father, Willard Carroll Smith, Sr., was a refrigeration engineer while his mother, Caroline (Bright), was a Philadelphia school board administrator.
In the late 1980s, Smith achieved modest fame as a rapper under the name The Fresh Prince. He formed an alliance with schoolmate and deejay Jeffrey Townes, whom he met in 1981. They began recording as DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. In 1988 the group released the groundbreaking single “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” which went on to win a Grammy Award (the first Grammy ever presented in the rap performance category).
In 1990, his popularity increased dramatically when he starred in the popular television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. During the series’ run, Smith garnered two Golden Globe Award nominations and served as an executive producer for the final season.
Buoyed by his small-screen success, Smith expanded into cinema with Where the Day Takes You (1992).
His first leading role was in the film version of John Guare’s successful stage play Six Degrees of Separation (1993).
The action comedy-thriller Bad Boys (1995), however, proved to be the turning point in his film career. While the movie was not a critical success, it made more than $100 million worldwide, proving Smith’s star power.
In 1996, Smith starred as part of an ensemble cast in Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day. The film was a massive blockbuster, becoming the second highest-grossing film in history at the time and establishing Smith as a prime box office draw.
He later struck gold again in the summer of 1997 alongside Tommy Lee Jones in the summer hit Men in Black playing Agent J. It received worldwide acclaim, with critics highly praising its witty, sophisticated humor, Jones and Smith’s performances. During the summer of 1997, Smith also began his solo career with the release of “Men in Black”, the theme song for the film of the same name.
Also in 1997 Smith released his first solo album, Big Willie Style, which included the hit “Gettin’ Jiggy wit It.”
In 1998, Smith starred with Gene Hackman in the conspiracy-thriller Enemy of the State.
In 1999, Smith turned down the role of Neo in The Matrix in favor of Wild Wild West (1999). He once stated that in his whole career, he most regrets turning down the part of Neo in The Matrix (1999) and the film that he most regrets making was Wild Wild West (1999).
Smith’s second album Willennium was supported by the release of a film theme song as the lead single: “Wild Wild West”, featuring Dru Hill and Kool Moe Dee.
In 2001 Smith portrayed heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali in the biopic Ali. For his performance he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama.
In 2002, following a four-year musical hiatus, Smith returned with his third album Born to Reign.
A couple of sequels were next, with Smith reprising his roles in Men In Black II (2002) and Bad Boys II (2003).
In 2004, Smith starred in the science fiction action I, Robot.
Smith gained a place in the Guinness World Records book for most public appearances in 12 hours, by attending three red carpet “premieres” for Hitch (2005) on 22nd February 2005. He walked the red carpet and introduced the film at Manchester, Birmingham, and finally for the premiere in London, England.
Smith’s latest album Lost and Found was also released in 2005.
In 2006, he starred in the biographical drama The Pursuit of Happyness, and his performance as a single father who overcomes adversity earned him a second Oscar nomination for best actor.
In 2007, Smith starred in the post-apocalyptic science fiction I Am Legend.
Smith then took on the dual role of actor and producer for Hancock (2008), in which he played an alcoholic anti-superhero, and for Seven Pounds (2008), about a man who sets out to change the lives of seven people.
In 2012 Smith again reprising his role as Agent J in Men in Black III. This was his first major starring role in four years. Men in Black III was released ten years after release of Men in Black II (2002), and grossed over $624 million worldwide. Unadjusted for inflation, it is the highest-grossing film in the series.
In 2013, Will starred in After Earth with his son Jaden. The film was a disappointment at the domestic box office and was panned critically.
In 2015, Smith portrayed a con artist in the thriller Focus and the doctor who discovered the epidemic of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) among NFL players in Concussion.
In 2016, he played the assassin Deadshot in the action thriller Suicide Squad and a grieving father in Collateral Beauty.
His most recent movie, Bright was distributed via Netflix on December 22, 2017. It is the most expensive movie for Netflix so far.
Smith has been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards and two Academy Awards, and has won four Grammy Awards.
Will Smith has an estimated net worth of $260 million.
Smith married Sheree Zampino in 1992. They had one son, Trey Smith, born on November 11, 1992, and divorced in 1995.
Smith married actress Jada Koren Pinkett in 1997. Together they have two children: Jaden Christopher Syre Smith (born 1998), his co-star in The Pursuit of Happyness and After Earth, and Willow Camille Reign Smith (born 2000)
Smith was a millionaire before the age of 20.
He spent money freely around 1988 and 1989 and underpaid his income taxes. The Internal Revenue Service eventually assessed a $2.8 million tax debt against Smith, took many of his possessions, and garnished his income. Smith was nearly bankrupt in 1990, when the NBC television network signed him to a contract and built a sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, around him.
Smith has solved Rubik’s cubes in both The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and The Pursuit of Happiness. This is a real talent of his; he has shown on live TV that he can solve a Rubik’s Cube in under 55 seconds.
Smith incorporates the line “Aw, hell no!” into all his movies as a running catch phrase like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “I’ll be back!”.
Smith is often called “Mr. July” by the media due to the fact that most of his summer blockbusters open in July.
He was the first guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Smith is supposedly a huge fan of the Swedish well-known (but barely known in the U.S.) melodic heavy metal band Soilwork.
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) is his favorite movie.
Smith is huge fan of professional wrestling.
He enjoys playing chess.