Will Smith Overview

Willard Christopher "Will" Smith, Jr. (born September 25, 1968) is an American actor, film producer and rapper rapping . He has enjoyed success in music, television and film. In April 2007, Newsweek called him the most powerful actor on the planet. Smith has been nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, two Academy Awards, and has won multiple Grammy Awards.

In the late 1980s, Smith achieved modest fame as a rapper under the name The Fresh Prince DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince


 
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Smith was born and raised in West Philadelphia and Germantown Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in Northwest Philadelphia. His mother, Caroline (née married and maiden names Bright), was a school administrator who worked for the Philadelphia school board, and his father, Willard Christopher Smith, Sr., was a refrigeration engineer. He was raised Baptist. His parents separated when he was 13 and divorced when he was 32. Smith's charming and sly demeanor in school resulted in the nickname "Prince", which eventually turned into the "Fresh Prince". While still in his teens, Smith began rapping and eventually began collaborating with Jeff Townes (a.k.a. DJ Jazzy Jeff), whom he met at a party. He attended Overbrook High School Overbrook High School (Philadelphia) in West Philadelphia. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince was born with Smith handling the rhymes and Townes overseeing the mastery of mixing and scratching — the combination was a pop and hip-hop hit during the 1980s and early 1990s.

While it is widely reported that Smith turned down a scholarship to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he never applied to MIT, although he was admitted to a "pre-engineering program" there. According to Smith, "My mother, who worked for the School Board of Philadelphia School District of Philadelphia , had a friend who was the admissions officer at MIT. I had pretty high SAT scores and they needed black kids affirmative action , so I probably could have gotten in. But I had no intention of going to college."
Early work (1985–1995)

Smith started as the MC MC#Hip hop culture of the hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, with his childhood friend Jeffrey "DJ Jazzy Jeff" Townes DJ Jazzy Jeff as turntablist and producer record 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 Summertime (DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince song) ." They gained critical acclaim for winning the first ever Grammy in the Rap category (1988). He had a line in "Voices That Care", a 1991 Gulf War song by a celebrity group. Smith spent money freely during his early career and underpaid his income taxes. The Internal Revenue Service eventually assessed a $2.8 million tax debt against Smith, took many of his possessions, and garnished garnishment his income.

Smith was nearly bankrupt in 1990 when the NBC television network signed him to a contract and built a sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, around him. The show was successful and launched his acting career. Smith set himself the goal of becoming "'the biggest movie star in the world'," studying box office successes' List of highest-grossing films common characteristics. Smith then went on to gain leading roles in several box office successes including Men in Black II, Bad Boys II, Hitch Hitch (film) , and I, Robot I, Robot (film) .

Smith also released a string of hit singles, often associated with his most recent film, throughout the late 1990s. The most notable of these were his #1 hit theme song "Men in Black Men in Black (song) ", the #1 hit "Gettin' Jiggy wit It" (which made jiggy a catch phrase for a while in 1998), and a cover of "Just the Two of Us Just the Two of Us (Will Smith song) ", an affectionate message to his young son. His first two solo albums, Big Willie Style (1997) and Willennium (1999), went multi-platinum RIAA certification .


International success (2001–present)

Smith was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor, for the film Ali Ali (film) , 2001, for his portrayal of the boxer Muhammad Ali, formerly known as Cassius Clay, in the biopic. He was again nominated for Best Actor Oscar Academy Award for his role in another true-life movie, The Pursuit of Happyness, where he played Chris Gardner in his rags-to-riches story.

Smith's third album on Columbia Records, Born to Reign released in 2002, was a sales disappointment compared to his past efforts, and after a quick Greatest Hits Greatest Hits (Will Smith album) release that was almost not advertised at all, he was dropped by the label. He later signed a recording contract with Interscope Records. A year later, Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith created the UPN (later CW The CW Television Network ) sitcom All of Us, which was loosely based on their lives. The show debuted on UPN in September 2003, and aired there for three seasons before moving to The CW in October 2006, for one more season. The CW cancelled All of Us in May 2007. Smith appeared as himself in Jersey Girl Jersey Girl (2004 film) delivering the Silent Bob speech that appears in nearly all Kevin Smith movies. The lead character's situation is due to the claim, "Will Smith is just a rapper."

In 2005, Smith was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for attending a record breaking three premieres in a 24-hour time span. On July 2, 2005, Smith served as host for the Live 8 concert Live 8 concert, Philadelphia in his native Philadelphia in front of an enormous crowd, and later performed a set with DJ Jazzy Jeff. During this time, Smith released his fourth studio album, the successful Lost & Found Lost and Found (Will Smith album) . The album was propelled solely on the smash hit single, "Switch", which appealed to the mainstream. The single stayed atop the charts for months and returned Smith to the forefront of hip-hop. Smith appeared at Nickelodeon Nickelodeon (TV channel) Kid's Choice awards in 2005 performing "Switch", as well as the BET awards Black Entertainment Television in 2005. He appeared in the second game of the NBA Finals (San Antonio vs. Detroit) performing "Switch" to promote the album. Smith also made a special appearance in the reality talent contest show "Indian Idol", when he visited India.

He has planned to star in a feature film remake of the television series It Takes a Thief It Takes a Thief (1968 TV series) .


On December 10, 2007, Smith was recognized at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Smith left an imprint of his hands and feet outside the world renowned theater in front of many fans. Later that month, Smith starred in the film I Am Legend I Am Legend (film) , released December 14, 2007. Despite marginally positive reviews, its opening was the largest ever for a film released in the United States during December. Smith himself has said that he considers the film to be "aggressively unique". A reviewer said that the film's commercial success "cemented [Smith's] standing as the number one box office draw in Hollywood." On December 1, 2008, TV Guide reported that Smith has been selected as one of America’s top ten most fascinating people of 2008 for a Barbara Walters ABC American Broadcasting Company special that aired on December 4, 2008.

Smith is currently developing a film entitled The Last Pharaoh, in which he will star as Taharqa.

President President of the United States Barack Obama has stated that if a film were to ever be made about his life, he would have Smith play his part, because "he has the ears". Obama stated that the two have discussed a possibility of a film based on the 2008 election, but this may not happen until the end of the Obama presidency.Smith was raised by his parents, Willard and Caroline, in West Philadelphia. Smith credits his father's dedication when discussing his own involvement in the lives of his three children: "I look at my father and how he was able to keep four kids fed and clothed and still managed to find time to spend with us." He has denied having joined the Church of Scientology, saying "I am a Christian. I am a student of all religions, and I respect all people and all paths." After his wife Jada made the film Collateral Collateral (film) with Cruise in 2004, the couple donated USD$ United States dollar 20,000 to Scientology's literacy campaign, called HELP, the Hollywood Education and Literacy Program, which is the basis for Scientology's homeschooling system.* Big Willie Style (1997)
* Willennium (1999)
* Born to Reign (2002)
* Lost and Found Lost and Found (Will Smith album) (2005)
Box office grosses

 

 

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