Willard Carroll Smith II (born September 25, 1968), also known by his stage name the Fresh Prince, is an American actor, rapper, and film producer. Noted for his work in music, television, and film,
Smith was born in Philadelphia to Caroline (née Bright), a school board administrator, and Willard Carroll Smith Sr. a US Air Force veteran and refrigeration engineer. His mother graduated from Carnegie Mellon University.
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.
He attended Our Lady of Lourdes, a private Catholic elementary school in Philadelphia, and Overbrook High School. His parents separated when he was 13, but did not divorce until around 2000.
Will Smith was the first rapper of hip-hop trio DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. They had their childhood buddy Jeffrey “DJ Jazzy Jeff” Townes as producer and turntablist and Ready Rock C (Clarence Holmes) as the beatbox for humans. The group was known for their humorous, radio-friendly songs, such as “Parents Just Don’t Get It” as well as “Summertime.”
They were praised by critics for getting the first Grammy for the Rap category (1988). Smith had a line on “Voices that Care” in 1991, a Gulf War song by a popular group. Smith was a prolific spender throughout his career, and he did not pay taxes on his income. In the end, the Internal Revenue Service eventually assessed an $2.8 million tax bill against Smith and confiscated a lot of his possessions and then seized his earnings.
Religious and Political Views.
Smith grew up in a Baptist family but went to a Roman Catholic school and church. In a 2013 interview, he stated that he is not religious. Smith told The Christian Post in 2015 that his grandmother’s Christian faith helped him portray Bennet Omalu accurately in Concussion, saying: “She was my spiritual teacher, she was that grandmother at the church, the one having the kids doing the Easter presentations and putting on the Christmas plays, and her kids and grandkids had to be first.” She was the most spiritually assured person I had ever encountered in my life.
For his portrayal of boxer Muhammad Ali, originally known as Cassius Clay, in the biopic Ali, Smith was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. He was nominated for another Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal as Chris Gardner in the true-life film The Pursuit of Happyness, in which he played a rags-to-riches story.
Smith’s third Columbia Records album, Born to Reign, was a sales disappointment compared to his previous efforts, and he was dropped by the label after a hastily released Greatest Hits collection that was barely advertised. Interscope Records later signed him to a recording contract.
More And Acting Career.
Following the release of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was released on May 20th the year 1997, Smith started a lucrative solo career in music while acting in a number of films.
His first two movies were massively successful summer blockbusters Independence Day (1996), in which he was the fearless and confident fighter pilot as well as Men in Black (1997) in which he played the confident and comical agent J as he fought Tommy Lee Jones’ deadpan Agent K. Smith’s performance on screen in Men in Black won critical applause.
He initially resisted the role of lead of the lead role Men in Black, but his wife Jada Pinkett Smith persuaded him to accept. The two films helped establish Smith’s fame as a commercial actor whose appeal transcends age and race boundaries can “open” the doors of a film on the screen.
This was a name Smith began to call”Big Willie Weekend” “Big Willie Weekend”. Around this time that he founded Overbrook Entertainment.