Updated: Nov 21, 2020
Willard Carroll Smith Jr., better known as Will Smith, is an American actor, television producer, songwriter, and rapper. He was born on September 25, 1968, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to father Willard C. Smith a refrigeration company owner, and mother Caroline a school board administrator.
He attended Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School for junior high school. He went on to attend Overbrook High School and his favorite subject was mathematics. He has an elder sister called Pamela and two younger siblings, twins Harry and Ellen. He grew up in a loving family though his parents separated when he was 13 years old.
The journey to his music career began at the age of 12, where he began rapping. DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh prince began producing music Their first single, “Girls Ain’t Nothing but Trouble” was a hit in 1986, and their album, Rock the House, hit the Billboard Top 200 making Smith a millionaire at a very tender age.
Smith didn’t see the point of attending college due to his early success. Smith began his journey into acting two years later. NBC signed him to headline a situation comedy about a street-smart kid from Philadelphia who moves in with stuffy relatives in the posh Los Angeles neighborhood of Bel-Air. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a huge success that ran for six seasons. Smith was playing on his rapper persona and at times featuring his friend Towne. When the series ended Smith moved to film from television and he starred in several blockbuster films.
The first step of Smith becoming extremely famous and successful came with the next film, Bad Boys. He teamed up with Martin Lawrence for the high-budget cop movie, braking away from the Black-cop-white -cop formula that had been successful for Lethal Weapon Series and Beverly Hills Cop. The two proved an instant success and Smith was identified as the leading man material. Smith was awarded the ‘Blockbuster Entertainment Award’ in the ‘favorite actor’ category. He also won the ‘Teen Choice Award’ and the ‘BET Award’.
He played a pilot leading the counter track against invading alien forces in ‘Independence Day’ which confirmed him as a major player in Hollywood. More success came his way when he fought aliens again in the next blockbuster, the film ‘Men in Black’. Smith rapped the theme song and his solo album, Big Willie Style, brought him more success. Another blockbuster that made him get an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actor in a motion picture was ‘Enemy of the State’. Later he continued to show his versatility as an actor playing a baffling golf caddy in ‘The Legend of Bagger Vance’; the boxer Muhammad Ali in the biopic Ali, which made him receive an Academy Award nomination; a cop from the near future in I-Robot. The following year he was starred in The Pursuit of Happyness and he performed as a single father who overcame an exceedingly difficult situation which earned him a second Oscar nomination for best actor.
In 2005 he made it through to the Guinness Book of World Records for going through three movie premieres in one day. In I Am Legend he appeared as a scientist who appeared as the last person on earth following a pandemic and in Seven Pounds, he played the role of a man who was seeking to be rescued after killing people accidentally in a car. In 2013, he was starred alongside his son in the science-fiction epic After Earth. he played the assassin dead shot in the action thriller Suicide Squad and a father who was grieving in Collateral Beauty. The next year he was starred as a police officer in Bright, a Netflix action film, that was set in Los Angeles. In the family comedy Aladdin, Smith was cast as a genie. He played the role of a retired assassin and his younger clone in Gemini Man.
Will has been married twice. He was first married to Sheree Elizabeth Zampino whom they were blessed with a baby boy Called Willard Smith (III) also known as Trey. Their marriage lasted for only three years. He married actress Jada Koren Pinkett who is known for the ‘Matrix ‘movie franchise They got a son called Jaden Christopher Syre and a daughter Willow Camille Reign. Jaden has appeared in ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’,’The Karate Kid’ and ‘After Earth’ while Willow is known for her role in ‘I Am Legend’.
Smith has donated large amounts of money to Christian ministries, Churches, Scientific Organizations, and schools. New Village Leadership Academy in California was established by Will Smith along with his wife Jada, donating 1.2 million dollars to the educational institution. Smith is one of the young richest Americans. He is the number one supporter of former President Barack Obama and he contributed financially to his campaigns. He has also organized the ‘Nobel Peace Prize Concert that was held in Oslo.
Now you know everything you need to know about Will Smith and some of his accomplishments.