Will SmithWill Smith

Will Smith (born September 25, 1968) is an American actor and musician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Smith’s acting career took off in the 1990s with the success of the NBC sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (1990–1996). This show, where Will Smith played a fictionalized version of himself, became a cultural phenomenon and cemented his place in the entertainment industry.

During those same years, he started a popular music career with DJ Jazzy Jeff. The duo released five studio albums together, including hits like “Parents Just Don’t Understand” and “Summertime,” which won them two Grammy Awards. Smith extended his music run into a solo career, which included the U.S. number one singles “Gettin’ Jiggy wit It” and “Wild Wild West” and four Grammy Awards, establishing him as a prominent figure in both the music and film industries.

Smith’s acting career hit new peaks when he starred in three consecutive action blockbusters: “Bad Boys” (1995), “Independence Day” (1996), and “Men in Black” (1997). The three films made Smith one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood. Both the “Men in Black” and “Bad Boys” franchises would go on to include two more sequels, with a fourth “Bad Boys” film on the way. These movies showcased his charisma and ability to lead major box-office hits, further solidifying his status as a leading man in Hollywood.

As a dramatic actor, Smith picked up Oscar nominations for his portrayal of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali in “Ali” (2001) and for his role as a struggling salesman in “The Pursuit of Happiness” (2006). He would win the Academy Award for Best Actor thanks to his performance in “King Richard” (2021), where he played Richard Williams, the determined father and coach of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams. His other hit films include “I, Robot” (2004), “Shark Tale” (2004), “Hitch” (2005), and “I Am Legend” (2007). These films demonstrated his versatility, taking on roles in science fiction, animation, romantic comedy, and post-apocalyptic thriller genres.

Off screen, Smith is perhaps best known for slapping comedian Chris Rock on stage during the 2022 Oscars broadcast after Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. The incident shocked audiences worldwide and led to significant consequences for Smith. He resigned from the Academy in the aftermath of the slap and was also banned from attending all Academy events for 10 years. Despite this controversy, Smith continues to be a major figure in the entertainment industry, with a career that spans over three decades and includes numerous accolades and memorable performances.

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