Willard Carroll “Will” Smith, Jr. He is an American actor, comedian, producer, rapper, and songwriter.
He has enjoyed success in television, film, and music.
In April 2007, Newsweek called him “the most powerful actor in Hollywood”.
Smith has been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards, two Academy Awards, and has won four Grammy Awards.
- Born: 25 September 1968, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
- Full name: Willard Carroll Smith Jr.
- Height: 1.88 m
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Smith was born on September 25, 1968 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Caroline (nee Bright), a Philadelphia school board administrator, and Willard Carroll Smith Sr., a U.S. Air Force veteran and refrigeration engineer.
He grew up in West Philadelphia’s Wynnefield neighborhood, and was raised Baptist. He has an elder sister named Pamela and two younger siblings, twins Harry and Ellen.
Smith attended Our Lady of Lourdes, a private Catholic elementary school in Philadelphia. His parents separated when he was 13, but did not actually divorce until around 2000.
Smith attended Overbrook High School. While it has been widely reported that Smith turned down a scholarship to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he never applied to college because he “wanted to rap.”
Smith says he was admitted to a “pre-engineering program” at MIT for high school students, but he did not attend.
According to Smith, “My mother, who worked for the School Board of Philadelphia, had a friend who was the admissions officer at MIT. I had pretty high SAT scores and they needed black kids, so I probably could have gotten in. But I had no intention of going to college.”
Smith married Sheree Zampino in 1992. Their son Willard Carroll “Trey” Smith III was born on November 11, 1992.
They divorced in 1995. Trey appeared in his father’s music video for the 1998 single “Just the Two of Us”.
He also acted in two episodes of the sitcom All of Us, and has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and the David Blaine: Real or Magic TV special.
Smith married actress Jada Koren Pinkett in 1997. Together they have two children: 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 brother Harry own Treyball Development Inc., a Beverly Hills-based company named after Trey. Smith and his family reside in Los Angeles, California.
In 2018, Smith celebrated his 50th birthday by performing a bungee jump from a helicopter in the Grand Canyon.
Smith was insured by Lloyd’s of London for $200 million for the jump which raised money for the charity Global Citizen.
In the late 1980s, Smith achieved modest fame as a rapper under the name The Fresh Prince. In 1990, his popularity increased dramatically when he starred in the NBC television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which ran for six seasons from 1990 to 1996.
After the series ended, Smith transitioned from television to film and went on to star in numerous blockbuster films.
He is the only actor to have eight consecutive films gross over $100 million in the domestic box office, eleven consecutive films gross over $150 million internationally, and eight consecutive films in which he starred open at the number one spot in the domestic box office tally.
Smith has been ranked as the most bankable star worldwide by Forbes. As of 2014, 17 of the 21 films in which he has had leading roles have accumulated worldwide gross earnings of over $100 million each, with five taking in over $500 million each in global box office receipts.
As of 2016, his films have grossed $7.5 billion at the global box office. For his performances as boxer Muhammad Ali in Ali (2001) and stockbroker Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), Smith received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actor.