Sep. 25th, 1968
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Will Smith's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Will Smith (born September 25, 1968) was the second of four children of Caroline (school board employee) and Willard C Smith Sr. (owner of a refrigeration company). Smith is of both African American and Native American heritage. He grew up in middle class area in West Philadelphia called Wynnefield. Will attended the Overbrook High School located in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He got the nickname 'Prince' because of the way he could charm his way out of trouble. Bright student Will also signed up with the high-status Julia Reynolds Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School in Philadelphia.
Pursuing music, he met Jeff Townes at a party and they soon began performing together as DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. When the duo took off in popularity, Smith made and spent a lot of money on a house, cars and jewelry; leading to his near bankruptcy in his early twenties.
Luckily, in 1989, he met Benny Medina, who had an idea for a sitcom based on his life in Beverly Hills. Smith loved the idea as did NBC which put on the The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990). The plot was simple -Will basically played himself; a street-smart West Philly kid transplanted to Beverly Hills. The series lasted 6 years. During that time, he ventured into movies where the critics took note of him in Six Degrees of Separation (1993). With the success that came with the action picture Bad Boys (1995), Will's movie career was set. He had a huge Blockbuster hit with Independence Day (1996) where he plays the alien-battling Marine Corps Captain Steven Hiller.
Smith married Sheree Zampino in (1992). They had one son, Willard Carroll "Trey" Smith III, (November 11, 1992), and divorced in (1995). Trey appeared in his father's music video for the 1998 single "Just the Two of Us".
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 '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.
- Speaks fluent Spanish.
- Has said he based his character Captain Steven Hiller in _Independence Day (1996)_ (qv) on his favorite big screen hero, 'Harrison Ford (I)' (qv), most notably his performances of Han Solo in _Star Wars (1977)_ (qv) and its sequels.
- His 1995 divorce from ex-wife 'Sheree Smith (I)' (qv) led to a $900,000 lump sum divorce settlement for Zampino plus $24,000 per month in alimony and child support; this equals $288,000 a year.
- Holds the record for most Kids Choice Awards with a whopping six wins.
- In the 1998 rap lyrics of "Gettin' Jiggy", 'Will Smith (I)' (qv) says that 'Muhammad Ali (I)' (qv) would call him "The Greatest." Two and a half years later, he played the title role in _Ali (2001)_ (qv).
- He has been at his adult height of 6' 2" since he was 13, although he is now about 60 pounds heavier than he first was when he reached this height.
- First hip-hop artist to be nominated for an Academy Award.
- His character from _Men in Black (1997)_ (qv), Agent Jay, was not originally written to specifically be a black man. In fact, the role was offered to Caucasian actors 'Chris O'Donnell (I)' (qv) and 'David Schwimmer (I)' (qv) before Smith accepted the part.