Will Smith Biography

Will Smith

 

Name: Will Smith
Profession: Actor, Singer, Producer
Birth Date: September 25, 1968
Height: 6' 2"

Will Smith was born and raised in West Philadelphia and Germantown in Northwest Philadelphia. His mother, Caroline, was a school administrator who worked for the Philadelphia school board, and his father, Willard Christopher Smith, Sr., was a refrigeration engineer.  Raised as a Baptist, Smith's parents divorced when he was 13. He attended Overbrook High School in West Philadelphia, where his charming and sly demeanor in school resulted in the nickname "Prince."

Smith rose to fame in the late 1980s as the MC of the hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, with his childhood friend Jeffrey "DJ Jazzy Jeff" Townes as turntablist and producer, as well as Ready Rock C (Clarence Holmes) as the human beat box. The trio was known for performing humorous, radio-friendly songs, most notably "Parents Just Don't Understand" and "Summertime." They gained critical acclaim for winning the first ever Grammy in the Rap category in 1988.

Smith spent his money rather freely in the early part of his career and he was nearly bankrupt when NBC signed him to a contract in 1990 and built the sitcom, "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," around him. The series was an immediate hit and launched Smith's acting career.

While still starring on "Fresh Prince," Smith made his debut on the big screen in 1992's "Where the Day Takes You." His first notable movie role came three years later when he starred opposite Martin Lawrence in the cop action film "Bad Boys."

After "Fresh Prince" ended its run in 1996, Smith started a successful solo music career and turned his attention to the big screen. His film career would quickly skyrocket behind two wildly-successful summer blockbusters, "Independence Day," in which he played a fearless and confident fighter pilot, and "Men in Black," where he played the comic and confident Agent J against Tommy Lee Jones’ deadpan Agent K.

In 2001, Smith received an Oscar nod for Best Actor for his portrayal of boxer Muhammad Ali in the biopic "Ali."

Having proven himself as a bankable box-office star, Smith has appeared in such films over the years as “I, Robot” (2004), “Hitch” (2005), and “The Pursuit of Happyness” (2006), which earned him a second Oscar nomination for Best Actor.