Will Smith biography
Date Of Birth: September 25, 1968
What do you do for an encore when you're a highly successful recording artist and you have your own
hit TV show before you're 30? Well, if you're Will Smith, you also manage to cram in two back-to-back
box office smashesIndependence Day, Men in Blackand get married to another
rising Hollywood starJada Pinkett.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Smith was the second of four children and started rapping at
parties when he was 12. He grew up in middle class West Philadelphia and got the nickname
'Prince' because of the way he could charm his way out of trouble.
Beginning his career in the music industry, Smith teamed with DJ Jazzy Jeff (whom he met at
a party) to become a chart-topping rap artist. Together, they recorded several platinum and
multi-platinum albums, in addition to winning numerous awards including two Grammys and three
American Music Awards.
However, by the time he was eighteen, Smith had squandered much of his fortune and was in
debt to the IRS. In 1989, he met Benny Medina, who had an idea for a sitcom based on his
life in Beverly Hills. Thus, the hit television show Fresh Prince of Bel Air was born, which
ran for six years and garnered Smith two Golden Globe Award nominations and two Image Award
nominations for his work.
While the show was still running, Will ventured out to do feature film work. Following roles
in Where the Day Takes You (1992) and Made in America (1993), he scored critical
approval as a young, gay con man pretending to be Sidney Poitier's son in Six Degrees of
Separation (1993). He also scored a decent helping of controversy, thanks to remarks he
made in an interview that were perceived as homophobic. Two years later, Smith found his first
major commercial success alongside Martin Lawrence in the action flick Bad Boys.
On his way up the popularity scale, Will struck gold when he starred in two of the highest
grossing films of the '90s. Independence Day and Men in Black catapulted Smith
onto a whole new plane of stardom.
As for what's pushed him to achieve all that he has in such a short amount of time, he says,
"I'm above average in talent, but where I think I excel is psychotic drive. All I need is for
somebody to say I can't do something and this crazy switch inside me makes me attack whatever
I'm doing. Psychotic drive is where I excel over people that are probably more naturally
In addition to the fame and fortune, Men in Black turned out to be a lucrative enterprise
for him offscreen as well, as his theme-song single also became a hit. Its success inspired
him to begin rapping again, and that same year he released Big Willie Style.
Smith's following films such as Enemy of the State (1998), Wild Wild West (1999)
and The Legend Of Bagger Vance (2000) were in no way as successful as these two, but
fared well at the box office. For the beginning of the new millennium, Smith returned to the
Men in Black success wave with the sequel Men in Black 2 (2002), and Ali (2001). The latter of which earned Smith his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Smith did more films, including Hancock (2008), Seven Pounds (2008) and Men in Black 3 (2012). Most recently, he starred in Focus (2015) and will soon be seen in Suicide Squad (2016).
He and Pinkett have two children, son Jaden Christopher Syre and daughter Willow Camille Reign. Smith also has a son, Trey, from a previous marriage. His son Jaden made his movie debut at age seven opposite his dad in The Pursuit of Happyness (2006). The movie was a box office hit, and earned Will his second Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. They appeared in a second movie together several years later, called After Earth (2013). His daughter Willow also acts, and appeared with him in his movie I Am Legend (2007).
Will can most recently be seen in the dramatic biopic Concussion (2015), the action flick Suicide Squad (2016), and the drama Collateral Beauty (2016).