Will Smith was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on September 25, 1968 to mother Caroline, a school board employee, and father Willard C. Smith, a refrigeration company owner. Smith was a good student whose charming personality and quick tongue were renowned for getting him out of trouble, a trait for which he soon gained the nickname “Prince.”
At 16, Smith met a DJ at a party by the name of Jeff Townes. The pair became friends, and the duo DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince was born.
In 1988, DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince continued their success with the album He’s The DJ, I’m The Rapper featuring the radio-friendly singles “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” “Brand New Funk,” and “Nightmare on My Street.” The album won the first ever Grammy Award for a Rap Performance.
Smith began his remarkable crossover into acting. Drawing on his experiences with fledgling stardom, NBC signed Smith to star in a sitcom about a street-smart kid from Philadelphia.
On the show, the character is shipped off to California to live with wealthy relatives in Bel-Air, California. The show ran for nearly 6 years (1990–96) on NBC and has been syndicated consistently on various networks since then.
In the mid-1990s, Smith moved from television to film, and ultimately starred in numerous blockbuster films. In 1996, Smith starred as part of an ensemble cast in Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day.
The film was a massive blockbuster, becoming the second highest grossing film in history at the time and establishing Smith as a prime box office draw. In 2005, Smith was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for attending three premieres in a 24-hour time span.
Met wife Jada Pinkett Smith when she tried out for the role of his girlfriend on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990). Have three children, son Willard Smith III (Trey Smith) born in November 11, 1992, with Sheree Fletcher.
Son, Jaden Christopher Syre Smith (Jaden Smith) born July 8, 1998 and daughter, Willow Camille Reign Smith (Willow Smith) born October 31, 2000 with Jada Pinkett Smith.
Smith went on to play in a 1997 science fiction comedy action film “Men in Black” directed by Barry Sonnenfeld where he played as NYPD officer who becomes a part MiB holding its first major mission and continued taking part in its sequel entitled “Men in Black II” released in 2002.
Lead roles in such films as “Enemy of the State” (1998), “Wild Wild West” (1999), “Ali” (2001) which earned him an Academy Award nomination for the category of Best Actor for his portrayal of the boxer Muhammad Ali, and “I, Robot” (2004) then followed.
In the meantime, his path as a film producer also ran smoothly as he has already had a number of promising titles to develop at his company, Overbrook Entertainment, including those of “Monster Hunter” (2007), “Lakeview Terrace” (2008), and “Sisters of Mercy” (2009).
The Smith family has homes in Florida, Sweden and Philadelphia. Like many in Hollywood, Smith is politically liberal and has made donations to the presidential campaign of Senator Barack Obama.