Christopher Smith II or Will Smith is an accomplished motion picture
actor, television star and musician. He was born (September 25,
1968) and raised in the Wynnefield section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
the second of four children. He often uses the line "West
Philadelphia born and raised" to describe his roots.
started his career as The Fresh Prince, the vocalist of the pop-rap
duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, which included childhood
friend Jeffrey "DJ Jazzy Jeff" Townes as its turntabilist
and producer. The duo was known for performing humorous, radio-friendly
songs, most notably "Parents Just Don't Understand".
Smith was a charismatic and energetic performer, and in 1990,
the NBC television network signed him up and built a sitcom, The
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, around him.
took on the challenge of his career in the title role of Ali,
a biopic that explores the life of the legendary boxer. For his
performance, Smith received Best Actor Award nominations from
the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Academy Award),
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globe®), the
NAACP, AFI and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.
In 2003, Smith starred
alongside Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys II. In 2002, Smith starred
in Men in Black II, which reunited him with Tommy Lee Jones and
director Barry Sonnenfeld. With his company, Overbrook Entertainment,
Smith served as Executive Producer for the feature film Showtime,
starring Robert De Niro and Eddie Murphy.
Smith's other film
credits include The Legend of Bagger Vance, directed by Robert
Redford. This performance earned Smith an NAACP Award nomination
for Best Actor. He earlier starred in Wild Wild West, for which
his theme song went gold and the soundtrack, produced by Overbrook,
went double platinum.
audiences in the suspenseful Enemy of the State and starred in
two of the ten all-time top-grossing films worldwide: 1997's summer
smash Men in Black, (also recording the Grammy winning title song)
and 1996's Independence Day. Smith also starred in Bad Boys, one
of the largest grossing films of 1995.
Smith was first recognized
by NATO/ShoWest as the Male Star of Tomorrow in 1995 and he was
honored with Male Star of the Year in 2002. In addition, he won
the International Box Office Achievement Award in 1997 and was
named 1999 Entertainer of the Year by the NAACP Image Awards.
His other film work
includes a critically acclaimed performance in the Oscar-nominated
Six Degrees of Separation, Made in America and Where the Day Takes
A music sensation,
Smith made his first record as a high school senior and subsequently
embarked on a rap career with friend Jeff Townes. DJ Jazzy Jeff
and the Fresh Prince recorded several platinum and multi-platinum
albums, winning two Grammys and three American Music Awards. Smith's
first solo album, Big Willie Style, has sold 8 million copies.
His album Willennium and the featured single Will2K went double
platinum, selling over 2 million copies each.
Smith made his transition
into television as the star of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, a
sitcom created for him by Quincy Jones. The hit NBC series wrapped
its sixth and final season in 1996.
Smith is partnered
with James Lassiter in Overbrook Entertainment. Together with
Jada Pinkett Smith and Friends writer Betsy Borns, Smith and Lassiter
are also currently producing the television show All of Us. The
show is inspired by the domestic adventures of entertainment superstars
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith and reflects a new generation's
enlightened attitude toward the extended family dynamic with humor,
sensitivity and heart. All of Us began airing on UPN in the fall
of 2003. Smith
swims with the fishes in the animated underwater underworld Shark
Tale later this year, and he is currently filming the big-screen
comedy The Last First Kiss with Eva Mendes.