Willard Carroll Smith II (born September 25, 1968), additionally identified by his stage identify The Recent Prince, is an American actor, rapper, and movie producer. Usually cited as a groundbreaking entertainer in music, tv and movie, Smith is the recipient of quite a few accolades, together with 4 Grammy Awards and a Golden Globe Award; and has been nominated for 4 Academy Awards (together with one for Greatest Image), and a Primetime Emmy Award for Excellent Comedy Collection. In 2006, Time journal named him one of many 100 most influential individuals on the planet; Moreover Esquire named him one of many 75 most influential individuals of the twenty first century, two years later. As of 2021[update], his movies have grossed over $9.3 billion on the international field workplace, and Smith holds a number of US and worldwide field workplace information.
Smith first achieved recognition as a part of a hip hop duo with DJ Jazzy Jeff, with whom he launched 5 studio albums and the US Billboard Scorching 100 high 20 singles “Dad and mom Simply Do not Perceive”, “A Nightmare on My Avenue”, “Summertime”, “Ring My Bell”, and “Increase! Shake the Room” from 1984 and 1994. Smith launched the solo albums Massive Willie Fashion (1997), Willennium (1999), Born to Reign (2002), and Misplaced and Discovered (2005), which contained the US primary singles “Gettin’ Jiggy wit It” and “Wild Wild West”.
Smith achieved wider fame for his fictionalized self-portrayal on the sitcom The Recent Prince of Bel-Air (1990–1996), for which he obtained two Golden Globe Award for Greatest Actor – Tv Collection Musical or Comedy nominations. He additionally starred within the motion movie Unhealthy Boys (1995), and its sequels Unhealthy Boys II (2003) and Unhealthy Boys for Life (2020), in addition to the sci-fi comedies Males in Black (1997), Males in Black II (2002), and Males in Black 3 (2012). After starring within the thrillers Independence Day (1996) and Enemy of the State (1998), Smith portrayed Muhammad Ali in Ali (2001), incomes his first Academy Award nomination for Greatest Actor. Smith then starred in a spread of commercially profitable movies, together with I, Robotic (2004), Shark Story (2004), Hitch (2005), Hancock (2008), and Seven Kilos (2008). He gained his second Academy Award nomination for portraying Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), and obtained important reward for his efficiency as an remoted virologist in I Am Legend (2007).
Smith’s portrayal of Bennet Omalu in Concussion (2015) was positively obtained, adopted by portrayals of Deadshot within the DC Prolonged Universe (DCEU) superhero movie Suicide Squad (2016) and Genie within the live-action Aladdin (2019). Smith’s portrayal of Richard Williams in King Richard (2021) was critically acclaimed, profitable the Golden Globe and Display screen Actors Guild Award for Greatest Actor, and receiving his third Academy Award nomination for the position. Smith has written two books, the youngsters’s ebook Simply the 2 of Us (2001), and his NYT best-selling memoir Will (2021), the latter of which was co-wrote alongside Mark Manson.
Smith was born on September 25, 1968, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Caroline (née Vivid), a Philadelphia faculty board administrator, and Willard Carroll Smith Sr., a U.S. Air Pressure veteran and refrigeration engineer. His mom graduated from Carnegie Mellon College.
He grew up in West Philadelphia’s Wynnefield neighborhood, and was raised Baptist. He has an older sister named Pamela and two youthful siblings, twins Harry and Ellen. Smith attended Our Woman of Lourdes, a non-public Catholic elementary faculty in Philadelphia. His mother and father separated when he was 13, however didn’t really divorce till round 2000.
Smith attended Overbrook Excessive Faculty. Whereas it has been broadly reported that Smith turned down a scholarship to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Expertise (MIT), he by no means utilized to school, as a result of he “needed to rap”. Smith says he was admitted to a “pre-engineering [summer] program” at MIT for highschool college students, however he didn’t attend.
1985–1992: The Recent Prince
Smith began because the MC of the hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Recent Prince, together with his childhood buddy Jeffrey “DJ Jazzy Jeff” Townes as turntablist and producer. Townes and Smith had been launched to one another by probability in 1985, as Townes was acting at a home celebration just a few doorways down from Smith’s residence, and he was lacking his hype man. Smith determined to fill in. They each felt robust chemistry, and Townes was upset when his hype man lastly made it to the celebration.
Quickly after, the 2 determined to affix forces. Smith enlisted a buddy to affix because the beatboxer of the group, Clarence Holmes (Prepared Rock C), making them a trio. Philadelphia-based Phrase Information launched their first single in 1986 when A&R man Paul Oakenfold launched them to Champion Information with their single “Ladies Ain’t Nothing however Hassle,” a story of humorous misadventures that landed Smith and his former DJ and rap companion Mark Forrest (Lord Supreme) in bother. The tune sampled the theme tune of “I Dream of Jeannie.” Smith grew to become identified for light-hearted story-telling raps and succesful, although profanity-free, “battle” rhymes. The only grew to become a success a month earlier than Smith graduated from highschool.
Based mostly on this success, the duo had been delivered to the eye of Jive Information and Russell Simmons. The duo’s first album, Rock the Home, which was first launched on Phrase Up in 1986 debuted on Jive in March 1987. The group obtained the primary Grammy Award for Greatest Rap Efficiency in 1989 for “Dad and mom Simply Do not Perceive” (1988), although their most profitable single was “Summertime” (1991), which earned the group their second Grammy and peaked at quantity 4 on the Billboard Scorching 100. Smith and Townes are nonetheless pals and declare that they by no means cut up up, having made songs below Smith’s solo performer credit score.
Smith spent cash freely round 1988 and 1989 and underpaid his earnings taxes. The Inner Income Service ultimately assessed a $2.8 million tax debt towards Smith, took a lot of his possessions, and garnished his earnings. Smith was struggling financially in 1990 when the NBC tv community signed him to a contract and constructed a sitcom, The Recent Prince of Bel-Air, round him. The present was profitable and started his appearing profession. Smith set for himself the aim of changing into “the largest film star on the planet”, learning field workplace successes’ widespread traits. In 1989, Smith was arrested in relation to an alleged assault on his file promoter, William Hendricks; all fees had been dismissed.
1993–1997: Solo music and movie breakthrough
Smith’s first main roles had been within the drama Six Levels of Separation (1993) and the motion movie Unhealthy Boys (1995) during which he starred reverse Martin Lawrence. The latter movie was commercially profitable, grossing $141.4 million worldwide. Nevertheless, important reception was usually combined. In 1996, Smith starred as a part of an ensemble solid in Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day. The movie was an enormous blockbuster, changing into the second highest-grossing movie in historical past on the time and establishing Smith as a main field workplace draw.
In the summertime of 1997, he starred alongside Tommy Lee Jones within the hit Males in Black, enjoying Agent J. The movie was launched on July 2 by Columbia Footage and grossed over $589.3 million worldwide towards a $90 million funds, changing into the 12 months’s third highest-grossing movie, with an estimated 54,616,700 tickets offered within the US. It obtained constructive evaluations, with critics praising its humor, in addition to Jones and Smith’s performances.
Throughout the summer time of 1997, Smith additionally started his solo music profession with the discharge of “Males in Black”, the theme tune for the movie, which topped singles charts in a number of areas the world over, together with the UK. “Males in Black” (and second single “Simply Cruisin’ “) was later included on Smith’s debut solo album Massive Willie Fashion, which reached the highest ten of the US Billboard 200 and was licensed 9 instances platinum by the Recording Business Affiliation of America (RIAA). The third single from the album, “Gettin’ Jiggy wit It”, grew to become Smith’s first Billboard Scorching 100 primary when it was launched in 1998.
1998–2013: Main man standing
In 1998, Smith starred with Gene Hackman in Enemy of the State. The next 12 months he turned down the position of Neo in The Matrix in favor of Wild Wild West (1999). Regardless of the frustration of Wild Wild West, Smith stated that he has no regrets about his choice, asserting that Keanu Reeves’ efficiency as Neo was superior to what Smith himself would have achieved, though in interviews subsequent to the discharge of Wild Wild West he said that he “made a mistake on Wild Wild West. That might have been higher.”
Smith’s second album was once more supported by the discharge of a movie theme tune because the lead single: “Wild Wild West”, that includes Dru Hill and Kool Moe Dee, topped the Billboard Scorching 100 and was licensed gold by the RIAA. The album in query, Willennium, reached quantity 5 on the Billboard 200 and was licensed double platinum by the RIAA. “Will 2K”, the second single from the album, reached quantity 25 on the Billboard Scorching 100. Earlier than the tip of 1999, a video album was launched that includes Smith’s seven music movies launched thus far, which reached quantity 25 on the UK Music Video Chart. The identical 12 months, he was additionally featured on The Recent Prince of Bel-Air co-star Tatyana Ali’s single “Boy You Knock Me Out”, which reached quantity three on the UK Singles Chart and topped the UK R&B Singles Chart.
Smith portrayed heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali within the 2001 biopic Ali. For his efficiency he was nominated for the Academy Award for Greatest Actor, and the Golden Globe Award for Greatest Actor – Movement Image Drama. In 2002, following a four-year musical hiatus, Smith returned together with his third album Born to Reign, which reached quantity 13 on the Billboard 200 and was licensed gold by the RIAA. The album’s lead single was the theme tune from Smith’s movie Males in Black II, referred to as “Black Fits Comin’ (Nod Ya Head)”, which reached quantity three on the UK Singles Chart. Later within the 12 months, Smith’s first compilation album Biggest Hits was launched, that includes songs from his three solo albums in addition to these produced with DJ Jazzy Jeff.
2003 noticed Smith return for Unhealthy Boys II, the sequel to the 1995 movie Unhealthy Boys; the movie follows detectives Burnett and Lowrey investigating the circulate of ecstasy into Miami. Regardless of receiving usually unfavorable evaluations, the movie was a field workplace success, grossing $270 million worldwide. Within the following 12 months, he starred within the animated movie Shark Story and the science fiction movie I, Robotic; each movies had been field workplace successes regardless of combined evaluations. Smith’s newest album Misplaced and Discovered was launched in 2005, peaking at quantity six on the Billboard 200. Lead single “Swap” reached the highest ten of each the Billboard Scorching 100 and the UK Singles Chart. In 2005, Smith was entered into the Guinness E-book of World Information for attending three premieres in a 24-hour time span. Smith and his son Jaden performed father and son within the 2006 biographical drama The Pursuit of Happyness. Within the movie Smith portrays Chris Gardner. Smith first grew to become curious about making a movie about Gardner after seeing him on 20/20 and related with him throughout manufacturing. The movie, together with Smith’s efficiency, obtained reward.
On December 10, 2007, Smith was honored at Grauman’s Chinese language Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Smith left an imprint of his arms and ft outdoors the theater in entrance of many followers. Later that month, Smith starred within the movie I Am Legend, launched on December 14, 2007. Alongside marginally constructive evaluations, its opening was the biggest ever for a movie launched in the US throughout December. Smith himself has stated that he considers the movie to be “aggressively distinctive”. A reviewer stated that the movie’s industrial success “cemented [Smith’s] standing because the primary field workplace attract Hollywood.” On December 1, 2008, TV Information reported that Smith was chosen as one in every of America’s high ten most fascinating individuals of 2008 for a Barbara Walters ABC particular that aired on December 4, 2008.
In 2008, Smith was reported to be creating a movie entitled The Final Pharaoh, during which he could be starring as Taharqa. Smith later starred within the superhero film Hancock, which grossed $227,946,274 in the US and Canada and had a worldwide whole of $624,386,746. On August 19, 2011, it was introduced that Smith returned to the studio with producer La Mar Edwards to work on his fifth studio album.
Smith once more reprised his position as Agent J with Males in Black 3, which opened on Could 25, 2012, his first main starring position in 4 years. After the discharge of the movie, Smith was content material with ending his work with the franchise, saying, “I believe three is sufficient for me. Three of something is sufficient for me. We’ll take a look at it and we’ll contemplate it, nevertheless it looks like that it is perhaps time to let another person do this.” Males in Black 3, launched ten years after Males in Black II (2002), grossed over $624 million worldwide. Unadjusted for inflation, it’s the highest-grossing movie within the collection.
In 2013, Smith starred in After Earth together with his son Jaden. The movie was a disappointment on the home field workplace and was panned critically. Calling the movie “probably the most painful failure in my profession”, Smith ended up taking a 12 months and a half break consequently.
Smith starred reverse Margot Robbie within the romance drama Focus, launched on February 27, 2015. He performed Nicky Spurgeon, a veteran con artist who takes a younger, enticing girl below his wing. Smith was set to star within the sci-fi thriller Brilliance, an adaptation of Marcus Sakey’s novel of the identical identify scripted by Jurassic Park author David Koepp, however he left the venture to work on the Ridley Scott-produced sports activities drama Concussion.
In Concussion, Smith performed Dr. Bennet Omalu of the Mind Damage Analysis Institute, the primary to find power traumatic encephalopathy. Smith reported he had doubts concerning the movie early within the manufacturing, saying, “a few of my happiest reminiscences are of watching my son catch and throw a soccer. I did not need to be the man who did a film saying soccer may very well be harmful.” These views subsided when he met Omalu, whose phrases about American beliefs resonated with Smith. Smith’s efficiency was praised for being “delicate [and] understated”.
In 2016, Smith performed Deadshot within the supervillain team-up motion movie Suicide Squad. Smith’s participation within the movie meant selecting it over a task in Independence Day: Resurgence, which he stated could be like “clinging and clawing backwards.” Later that 12 months, Smith starred in director David Frankel’s drama Collateral Magnificence, enjoying a New York promoting govt who succumbs to a deep despair after a private tragedy. Weeks after signing Smith onto the movie, his father was identified with most cancers, from which he died in 2016. As a part of his position required him to examine faith and the afterlife, he was introduced nearer to the elder Smith, calling the expertise “a stupendous technique to put together for a film and an much more majestic technique to say goodbye to my father.”
His movie Vivid was distributed through Netflix on December 22, 2017. An city fantasy, it was the costliest movie for Netflix thus far. Smith collaborated together with his director from Suicide Squad, David Ayer. That month, Smith launched his personal YouTube channel, which as of July 2019[update] has over 6 million subscribers and 294 million whole views. Additionally in 2017, Smith launched the tune “Get Lit” a collaboration between him and his former group mate Jazzy Jeff.
Smith carried out the official tune “Reside It Up” alongside American singer Nicky Jam and Kosovar singer Period Istrefi on the closing ceremony of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow, Russia. That September Smith appeared, alongside Unhealthy Bunny, on the Marc Anthony tune “Está Rico”.
Smith portrayed The Genie (initially voiced by Robin Williams) within the live-action adaptation of Disney’s Aladdin, directed by Man Ritchie. He additionally participated within the soundtracks by recording singles: “Arabian Nights (2019)”, “Buddy Like Me” and “Prince Ali”. The movie was launched on Could 24, 2019. Aladdin grossed over $1 billion worldwide to grow to be Smith’s highest-grossing movie, surpassing Independence Day. Smith was additionally featured on rapper Logic’s tune “Do not Be Afraid To Be Totally different” (2019), from his fifth studio album Confessions of a Harmful Thoughts.
Smith appeared as an murderer who faces off towards a youthful clone of himself in Ang Lee’s Gemini Man, launched on October 11, 2019. Later that 12 months, Smith had his second starring position in an animated movie, in Spies in Disguise, reverse Tom Holland. Smith voiced Lance Sterling, a spy who groups up with the nerdy inventor who creates his devices (Holland). In 2020, he reteamed with Martin Lawrence for the third movie of their franchise, Unhealthy Boys for Life. In 2019, Smith invested $46 million in esports group Gen.G with Smith’s Dreamers Fund, which he co-founded with Keisuke Honda. In June 2020, it was introduced that Smith would star in Emancipation, directed by Antoine Fuqua, during which he portrays Peter, a runaway slave, who outsmarts hunters and the Louisiana swamp on a journey to the Union Military.
Smith’s memoir Will, which was written with Mark Manson, the creator of The Delicate Artwork of Not Giving a F*ck, was printed on November 9, 2021, and promoted with a tour. The ebook is a journey of self-knowledge recalling childhood traumas, his relationship together with his father, and his experiences with ayahuasca. In the identical 12 months, he and his Westbrook Studios firm signed a cope with Nationwide Geographic. Smith portrayed Richard Williams, father and coach of tennis gamers Venus and Serena Williams, within the 2021 movie King Richard. For this position, he gained the Golden Globe Award for Greatest Actor – Movement Image Drama on the 79th Golden Globe Awards.
On February 7, 2022, Nat Geo introduced that Smith would star in a collection titled Pole to Pole, which can stream on Disney+. The present will comply with Smith and his movie crew as they go on a 26,000-mile trek from the South Pole to the North Pole.
Smith has typically been famous for reaching groundbreaking success all through his musical profession, and together with his work as an actor in tv and movie. XXL referred to him as “probably the most essential rappers of all time”. Smith’s transition from music to appearing has influenced a number of rappers to additionally grow to be actors, with him being cited as a pioneer for the rappers crossing over into appearing by Advanced. In 2006, Time journal named him one of many 100 most influential individuals on the planet; moreover Esquire named him one of many 75 most influential individuals of the twenty first century, two years later.
His work as a member of DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Recent Prince made them the primary rap act to win a Grammy Award, in addition to the primary to win an MTV Video Music Award for Greatest Rap Video, when the tune “Dad and mom Simply Do not Perceive” gained within the inaugural rap classes at each award present ceremonies.
Smith later launched his appearing profession by starring within the NBC sitcom The Recent Prince of Bel-Air; the present’s success is taken into account to be a watershed second for Hip-Hop and Black tv, with many publications referring to it as one of many “Biggest Sitcoms of All Time”. Professor Andrew Horton said, “Smith’s style of comedy, popularized on the sitcom Recent Prince of Bel-Air translated properly into industrial box-office attraction. The Recent Prince watered down and capitalized upon the then rising recognition of Hip Hop and virtually anticipated its dominance on the American scene”.
Furthermore, creator Willie Tolliver famous, “What The Recent Prince did accomplish was to place Smith and his character Will into an atmosphere of affluence and risk, thus altering the phrases of his personal Black id. This social and cultural mobility is central to Smith’s racial significance, and this can grow to be evident time and again; he strikes the picture of the Black male into unaccustomed areas simply as Smith himself was within the technique of conquering Hollywood.”
Smith married Sheree Zampino in 1992. Their son Willard Carroll “Trey” Smith III was born on November 11, 1992. The 2 divorced in 1995. Trey appeared in his father’s music video for the 1998 single “Simply the Two of Us”. He additionally acted in two episodes of the sitcom All of Us, and has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Present and the David Blaine: Actual or Magic TV particular.
Smith married actress Jada Koren Pinkett in 1997. They met when Pinkett auditioned for a task as Smith’s character’s girlfriend in The Recent Prince of Bel-Air. The pair produce movies via their joint manufacturing firm Overbrook Leisure and Westbrook Inc. Collectively they’ve two youngsters: Jaden Christopher Syre Smith (born 1998), his co-star in The Pursuit of Happyness and After Earth; and Willow Camille Reign Smith (born 2000), who appeared as his daughter in I Am Legend.
Smith and his spouse Jada have expressed unconventional practices on their monogamy, jokingly calling their dedication “dangerous marriage for all times”. Each he and Pinkett Smith have admitted to having extramarital relationships and believing within the freedom to pursue them. Smith stated he needed a polyamorous relationship with actress Halle Berry and ballerina Misty Copeland however via remedy in the end deserted the concept.
Smith and his brother Harry personal Treyball Improvement Inc., a Beverly Hills-based firm named after Trey Smith, and his household resides in Los Angeles, California. In 2018, Smith celebrated his fiftieth birthday by performing a bungee soar from a helicopter within the Grand Canyon. Smith was insured by Lloyd’s of London for $200 million for the soar which raised cash for the charity International Citizen.
In October 2021, on a GQ phase, Smith referred to as Wild Wild West “a thorn in my aspect”, whereas reflecting on each his greatest and worst motion pictures, and added that “To see myself with chaps … I don’t prefer it”, whereas saying that the Males in Black franchise was his favourite efficiency.
Non secular and political opinions
Smith was raised in a Baptist family and attended a Roman Catholic faculty and church. In a 2013 interview, he stated he didn’t determine as spiritual. In 2015, Smith stated in an interview with The Christian Publish that his Christian religion, which was instilled in him by his grandmother, helped him to precisely painting Bennet Omalu in Concussion, saying, “She was my religious trainer, she was that grandmother on the church, the one having the children doing the Easter shows and placing on the Christmas performs and her youngsters and grandkids needed to be first. She was probably the most spiritually sure individual that I had ever met in my total life. Even to the purpose that when she was dying she was pleased, like she was actually enthusiastic about going to heaven.”
In 2018, Smith carried out the Hindu ceremony of Abhisheka of Lord Shiva at Haridwar, India. He additionally carried out an Aarti of the holy river Ganga. He has stated that he feels a deep connection to Hindu spirituality and Indian astrology.
Smith donated $4,600 to the 2008 presidential marketing campaign of Democrat Barack Obama. On December 11, 2009, Smith and his spouse hosted the Nobel Peace Prize Live performance in Oslo, Norway to rejoice Obama’s profitable of the prize.
In 2012, Smith said he supported legalizing same-sex marriage.
In 2021, Smith introduced that manufacturing of his upcoming movie, Emancipation, is being pulled from Georgia due to the current passage of the Election Integrity Act of 2021, which critics view as a restrictive voting regulation negatively impacting non-white voters. Smith and director Antoine Fuqua launched a joint assertion: “We can not in good conscience present financial assist to a authorities that enacts regressive voting legal guidelines which can be designed to limit voter entry”.
Smith gave $1.3 million to charities in 2007, of which $450,000 went to 2 Christian ministries, and $122,500 went to 3 Scientology organizations; the remaining beneficiaries included “a Los Angeles mosque, different Christian-based colleges and church buildings, and the Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Heart in Israel.” Smith and his spouse have additionally based a non-public elementary faculty in Calabasas, California, the New Village Management Academy. Federal tax submitting confirmed that Smith donated $1.2 million to the varsity in 2010.
- Massive Willie Fashion (1997)
- Willennium (1999)
- Born to Reign (2002)
- Misplaced and Discovered (2005)
Awards and nominations
- Philadelphia portal
- Iannucci, Lisa (2009). Will Smith: A Biography. Greenwood. ISBN 978-0-313-37610-8.
- Smith, Will and Mark Manson (2021). Will. Penguin Press. ISBN 978-1-984-87792-5. Memoir
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- Official web site
- Will Smith at IMDb
- Will Smith discography at MusicBrainz