Name:
Will Smith
Birth Date:
September 25, 1968
Birth Place:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Height:
6' 2
Nationality:
American
Famous for:
His role in 'Bad Boys' (1995)
Profession:
actor, musician
Education:
Overbrook High School in Winfield, West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
BIOGRAPHY
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Fresh Prince

Background:

"My skin is hard when it comes to my music. But with my movies, I'm still a virgin in a lot of ways. I'm not used to being shot down for no reason." Will Smith

Grammy winning rapper and accomplished actor Will Smith first came to recognition as the Fresh Prince while forming a popular rapper duo with DJ Jazzy Jeff. The duo earned praise with the single Summertime (1991) and the album He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper (1988), which spawned the hit singles Parents Just Don't Understand (1989) and Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble. The Fresh Prince also gained rave reviews from MTV with his singles Gettin' Jiggy Wit' It (1998), Just the Two of Us (1998), and Miami (1999).

As an actor, Smith rose to popularity while portraying himself in the mega hit television series The Fresh Prince of Bel Air in 1990. He later received more attention acting in such films as Six Degrees of Separation (1993), Independence Day (1996, with Jeff Goldblum), Men in Black (1997, sequel in 2002), and Wild Wild West (1999). Smith continued to earn publicity when he starred in the biopic Ali (2001), Bad Boys I & II (1995 and 2003), as well as I, Robot (2004) and Hitch (2005).

The African-American actor, standing 6' 2" inches tall, was listed as one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in The World in 1998. He married actress Jada Pinkett Smith (Niobe in the Matrix movies) on December 31, 1997.

Charming Will

Childhood and Family:

William Christopher Smith Jr. was born on September 25, 1968 toxparents William C. Smith Sr. (refrigeration engineer) and CarolinexSmith (school-board employee). The second of four children, Will hasxtwo sisters, Ellen Smith (twin of Harry; born in 1971) and Pam Smithx(born in 1964), and one brother, Harry Smith (twin of Ellen, born in 1971).

Born and raised in the middle class community of West Philadelphia, Will attended the Overbrook High School in Winfield, Pennsylvania, in which he was nicknamed Prince by his teacher for his charm. Bright student Will also signed up with the high-status Julia Reynolds Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School in Philadelphia and later turned down a scholarship for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after deciding to take his music career seriously.

During the filming of A Different World (1987) in 1991, Will met actress Sheree Zampino (born on November 16, 1967) and married her on May 9, 1992. The couple has one son, Willard C. Smith III (a.k.a. Trey Smith, born in December 1992) but later divorced in 1995. "You're so much stronger when your partner is strong. I honestly believe there is no woman for me but Jada. Of all the women I've met, and there've been a few, no one can handle me the way Jada does. Once you feel someone locked in on you, it's no contest. As fine as other women can be, as tempting sexually, I'm not going anywhere. This is it. I can't imagine what anyone else could offer." Will Smith

On an audition for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990), Will met and fell in love with actress Jada Pinkett Smith (born on September 18, 1971). The pair exchanged wedding vows in Baltimore on New Years Eve in 1997. They have two children, daughter Willow Camille Reign Smith (born on October 31, 2000) and son Jaden Christopher Syre Smith (born July 8, 1998).

Men in Black

Career:

"I love being black in America, and especially being black in Hollywood." Will Smith

Having been rapping since age 12, Will Smith, under the name of The Fresh Prince, started his demo recordings with aspiring rapper Jeff Townes (a.k.a. DJ Jazzy). The duo introduced their first record, Rock the House, in 1987 with the hit single Girls Ain't Nothing but Trouble. They finally gained wide recognition in 1988 with their Grammy winning album, He's the DJ I'm the Rapper (was certified double platinum), which spawned the hit single Parents Just Don't Understand.

In 1990 Will entered the Hollywood scene. After appearing in his first TV movie, the romance-comedy The Perfect Date (1990), writer Benny Medina pointed him to the lead role of himself in the NBC's long-living series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996). The show was an instant hit and helped Will catapult his name toward the spotlight. On portraying himself in The Prince of Bel-Air, Will admitted, "I was trying so hard. I would memorize the entire script, then I'd be lipping everybody's lines while they were talking. When I watch those episodes, it's disgusting. My performances were horrible."

Will subsequently graced the big screen, debuting with Marc Rocco's feature drama, Where the Day Takes You, in 1992. He followed it up with the acclaimed 1993's film, Six Degrees of Separation, in which he received praise for portraying the character of Paul. Will also appeared in the film Made in America (1993) and lent his voice in the animated series Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child (1995).

Meanwhile, Will continued to rap and released the disc, Home Base, in 1991, which spawned the chart's hit single Summertime. The single earned Will and DJ Jazzy their first Grammy award. Two years later, in 1993, the duo launched the poor-received album Code Red. "Women have never liked me. Until I ran with my shirt open in Bad Boys, I was not anybody's first choice." Will Smith

A better role came in 1995 when Michael Bay cast Smith as Martin Lawrence's partner, Det. Mike Lowrey, in his blockbuster action-comedy Bad Boys, which he later starred again in its second installment in 2002. Soon afterward, Will was offered a string of distinguished roles in many major films, including Captain Steven 'Steve' Hiller in Roland Emmerich's sci-fi action film Independence Day (1996, starring Bill Pullman) and as Tommy Lee Jones' partner, Agent Jay, in Barry Sonnenfeld's adaptation of Lowell Cunningham's popular comic Men in Black (1997, he also sang), which he later reprised the role in its sequel in 2002. Smith also starred as Robert Clayton Dean in Tony Scott's thriller, Enemy of the State (1998), and as Captain James 'Jim' West in Barry Sonnenfeld's western-comedy Wild Wild West (1999, teamed with Kevin Kline and Salma Hayek).

Always a rap artist, The Fresh Prince released his solo debut album, Big Willie Style, in 1997, which contained the hit singles Miami, Just the Two of Us (with son Trey), and Getting Jiggy Wit It. In 1999, he launched the CD Willennium as well as Men In Black and the Wild Wild West soundtracks.

In the new millennium Will was given several title roles, including one in Robert Redford's adaptation of Steven Pressfield's novel, The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000, costarring Matt Damon and Charlize Theron). He also portrayed legendary boxer Muhammad Ali in Michael Mann's biography movie Ali (2001, also starring Jamie Foxx and Jon Voight).

During 2004, Will could be seen in Alex Proyas' adaptation of Isaac Asimov's book, I Robot, and his voice can be heard in the animated movie Shark Tale. As for 2005, Will's fans can watch him portraying the title role in Andy Tennant's romantic comedy Hitch (costarring Eva Mendes). Smith will star in the upcoming films, Tonight He Comes, and Affirmative Action (costarring Ben Affleck).

Successful Will Smith once commented, "People laugh, but if I set my mind to it, within the next 15 years, I would be president."

Awards:

  • Kids' Choice: Wannabe Award, 2003
  • ShoWest Convention: ShoWest Award, Male Star of the Year, 2002
  • MTV Movie: Best Male Performance, Ali, 2002
  • BET Awards: Best Actor, 2002
  • ASCAP Film and Television Music: Most Performed Songs from Motion
  • Pictures, Wild Wild West, 2000
  • ShoWest Convention: ShoWest Award, Actor of the Year, 1999
  • MTV Video Music: Best Male Video, Miami, 1999
  • Grammy: Best Rap Solo Performance, Men in Black, 1998
  • MTV Movie: Best Song from a Movie, Men in Black, 1998
  • MTV Movie: Best Fight, Men in Black, 1998
  • MTV Video Music: Best Male Video, Just the Two of Us, 1998
  • MTV Video Music: Best Rap Video, Gettin' Jiggy Wit' It, 1998
  • Blockbuster Entertainment: Favorite Actor, Sci-Fi, Men In Black, 1998
  • MTV Movie: Best Kiss, Independence Day, 1997, tied with Vivica A. Fox
  • National Association of Theater Owners: NATO/ShoWest International Box
  • Office Achievement Award, 1997
  • MTV Video Music: Best Video from a Film, Men in Black, 1997
  • NAACP Image: Outstanding Rap Artist, Men in Black, 1997
  • Grammy: Best Rap Performance, Summertime, 1991
  • American Music: Best Rap Single, Summertime; award shared with DJ
  • Jazzy Jeff, 1991
  • NAACP Image: Outstanding Rap Artist, Summertime; award shared with DJ
  • Jazzy Jeff, 1991
  • Grammy: Best Rap Performance, He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper; award
  • shared with DJ Jazzy Jeff, 1988
  • American Music: Best Rap Single, He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper, 1988

 

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