Willard Carroll “Will” Smith II (born September 25, 1968) is an American actor, comedian, producer, rapper, and songwriter. He has achieved success in music, movies, and television. He was said to as “the most powerful actor in Hollywood” by Newsweek in April 2007. Smith has received four Grammy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, and two Academy Awards.
Smith earned some fame as a rapper in the late 1980s going by The Fresh Prince. When he appeared in the hit television show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in 1990, his popularity skyrocketed. The sitcom was broadcast on NBC for six seasons (1990–1996) before being constantly syndicated on other networks ever since. Smith transitioned from television to film once the series ended, eventually starring in a number of big-budget films. He is the only actor to have eight consecutive pictures gross over $100 million at home, eleven straight films gross over $150 million abroad, and eight straight films in which he had a leading role debut at the top of the domestic box office list.
Forbes lists Smith as the most economically feasible celebrity on the planet. As of 2014, 17 of the 21 films in which he had starring roles achieved global box office receipts of over $100 million each, with five of those films earning over $500 million each. His films have brought in $6.6 billion globally as of 2014. He has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor for both Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness.
Smith was born in West Philadelphia, the son of Willard Carroll Smith, Sr., a refrigeration engineer, and Caroline (Bright), a Philadelphia school board administrator. He was brought up a Baptist and lived in the Wynnefield neighbourhood in West Philadelphia. He has three siblings: twins Harry and Ellen, who are three years younger than him, and sister Pamela, who is four years older. Smith went to a private Catholic elementary school in Philadelphia called Our Lady of Lourdes. When he was 13 years old, his parents split up, but they didn’t get divorced until somewhere around 2000.
Smith began his career as the MC for the hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, which also included Ready Rock C (Clarence Holmes), the human beat box, as well as Jeffrey “DJ Jazzy Jeff” Townes, Smith’s childhood buddy and producer. The songs “Parents Just Don’t Understand” and “Summertime” are two examples of the trio’s repertoire of hilarious, radio-friendly songs. They won the first Grammy for Rap in 1988 and received favourable reviews.
Around 1988 and 1989, Smith overspent and underpaid his income taxes. Smith eventually received a $2.8 million tax obligation assessment from the Internal Revenue Service, which also confiscated several of his property and garnished his income. When Smith signed a contract with NBC and the network created The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air around him in 1990, he was on the verge of bankruptcy.
The popular show launched his acting career. Smith set himself the objective of becoming “the biggest movie star in the world” after researching the traits of box office winners.
The drama Six Degrees of Separation (1993) and the action movie Bad Boys (1995), in which he appeared with Martin Lawrence, were Smith’s first significant appearances.
Smith was a member of the ensemble cast in Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day in 1996. The movie was a huge hit, ranking as the second-highest grossing movie of all time at the time and making Smith a top box office draw. In the summer of 1997, he and Tommy Lee Jones, who played Agent J, scored yet another summer box office hit with Men in Black. Smith and Gene Hackman co-starred in the 1998 film Enemy of the State.
He agreed to play Neo in The Matrix in favour of the 1999 film Wild Wild West. Despite the disappointment of Wild Wild West, Smith has stated that he has no regrets about his choice, claiming that Keanu Reeves’s portrayal of Neo was better than what Smith himself would have accomplished. However, in interviews conducted after the film’s release, Smith acknowledged that he “made a mistake on Wild Wild West. That might have been more ideal.
Smith made history in 2005 when he attended three premieres in a 24-hour period, earning him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
He planned to star in a feature film adaptation of the It Takes a Thief television series.
On December 10, 2007, Smith was respected at Grauman’s Chinese Performance center on Hollywood Road. Smith left an engraving of his hands and feet outside the widely acclaimed auditorium before many fans. Sometime thereafter, Smith featured in the film I’m Legend, delivered December 14, 2007. In spite of hardly sure surveys, its opening was the biggest ever for a film delivered in the US during December. Smith himself has said that he believes the film to be “aggressively unique”. A commentator said that the film’s business achievement “solidified [Smith’s] remaining as the main film industry attract Hollywood.” On December 1, 2008, television Guide revealed that Smith was chosen as one of America’s main ten most intriguing individuals of 2008 for a Barbara Walters ABC unique that circulated on December 4, 2008.
Smith was said to be working on a movie called The Last Pharaoh in 2008, in which he would play Taharqa. Smith featured in the superhero film Hancock back in 2008.
Smith returned as Agent J for the May 25, 2012, premiere of Men in Black III. It had been four years since his last significant leading role.
Smith had returned to the studio with producer La Mar Edwards to work on his fifth studio album, it was revealed on August 19, 2011. T.I., Chris Brown, and Game are a few artists that Edwards worked with. Lost and Found, Smith’s most recent studio album, was released in 2005.
In two films, The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), a biographical drama starring Smith and his son Jaden, and After Earth (2013), a science fiction movie, Smith and Jaden played father and son.
In the love triangle drama Focus, Smith featured opposite Margot Robbie. He portrayed Nicky Spurgeon, a seasoned con guy who takes in a young, attractive woman. The movie Focus debuted on February 27, 2015. Smith was slated to act in David Koepp’s sci-fi thriller Brilliance, which is an adaptation of Marcus Sakey’s same-titled book. But he abandoned the project.
In the sports drama Concussion, Smith played Dr. Bennet Omalu of the Brain Injury Research Institute, who was the first to identify chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in a football player’s brain. CTE is a degenerative illness that can only be identified after death and is brought on by significant brain trauma. Smith’s participation is mostly the result of his sudden departure from the sci-fi thriller-drama Brilliance. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Peter Landesman was the director of Concussion, which was shot in Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania provided film tax breaks worth $14.4 million for it. The first day of principal photography was October 27, 2014. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, an actress, portrayed his wife. Omalu worked as a consultant.
Smith has been cast as the lead in David Frankel’s independent drama Collateral Beauty as of November 2015. Smith will portray a New York advertising executive who has a personal disaster and falls into a profound despair.
Oslo, Norway, December 11, 2009, Nobel Peace Prize Concert Jaden and Willow Smith married Sheree Zampino in 1992. Smith with wife Jada and children. Trey Smith, their only child, was born on November 11, 1992, and they got divorced in 1995. Trey had an appearance in his father’s 1998 song “Just the Two of Us” music video. Additionally, he played a character in two episodes of the sitcom All of Us. He has also had appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show and the TV special David Blaine: Real or Magic.
In 1997, Smith wed the actress Jada Koren Pinkett. Jaden Christopher Syre Smith (born 1998), who acted with him in The Pursuit of Happyness and After Earth, and Willow Camille Reign Smith (born 2000), who played his daughter in I Am Legend, are the couple’s two children. Treyball Development Inc., a Beverly Hills-based business named after Trey, is owned by Smith and his brother Harry. Smith lives in Los Angeles, California, with his family.
Smith was frequently included in the “Richest 40” list of the forty richest Americans under the age of 40 released by Fortune Magazine.
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