Will Smith

     
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Real Name: William Christopher Smith Jr.
Birthday: September 25, 1968
Place of Birth: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Education: Overbrook High School in Winfield, Pennsylvania

 

Will Smith Biography And Filmography:

Given his undertakings in several areas of the entertainment business, Will Smith certainly qualifies as a true "Renaissance man." Although he originally gained his notoriety as the rap musician Fresh Prince before the age of 21, with repeated MTV airplay and smash hit record sales, he transitioned into an A-list Hollywood actor in the ensuing years.

A Philadelphia local, Smith was born on September 25, 1968. The son of middle-class parents and the second of four children, he started rapping and writing music from the age of 13, and earned the nickname "Prince" thanks to his capacity to effortlessly talk his way out of difficulty. 

He made his name a household phrase when he officially created the music group DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, with musician Jeff Townes in 1986. That team grabbed two Grammy Awards, one for the influential 1988 youth song "Parents Just Don't Understand" and one for the 1991 single "Summertime", and made millions of dollars with a series of albums up to their breakup in 1993. However, by the time he was 22, he had wasted much of his money, and had fallen onto hard times with the IRS. 

Help arrived from Warner Bros. executive Benny Medina, who wanted to create a family-friendly television comedy based on his own experience as a needy kid living with a wealthy Beverly Hills family, starring the good-natured actor. The "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" debuted on television on September 10, 1990, and quickly became a smash hit, running six seasons. The show gave him even greater audience exposure as the show's central character, introducing him to audiences who fell outside of the rap age group.

During Prince's long run, the musician began to branch out into film work, accepting roles in "Where the Day Takes You" (1992) featuring Lara Flynn Boyle, and "Made in America" (1993). He drew lots of respect as a young gay con man faking a character as Sidney Poitier's young son, in "Six Degrees of Separation" (1993), directed by Fred Schepisi and adapted by John Guare from his original play. 

In 1995, the actor and Martin Lawrence signed on with producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer to co-star in the action-comedy "Bad Boys" (1995) with Tea Leoni, in which the two play a pair of Miami cops; in time it earned over 150 million dollars worldwide. The following year, he surpassed his "Bad Boys" success with a role in the sci-fi smash hit "Independence Day" (1996), the story of an alien assault. Co-written, executive-produced, and directed by Roland Emmerich, this film pulled in over $800 million dollars globally, making it not only the top movie of 1996, but one of the most financially successful motion pictures in history. He was then cast as a government appointed alien hunter partnered up with Tommy Lee Jones in Barry Sonnenfeld's screwball comedy "Men in Black" (1997), another runaway success.

The young actor gained even more attention in his personal life, as he married actress Jada Pinkett on New Year's Eve 1998. The following year, he returned to the big screen with "Enemy of the State" (1998), a conspiracy adventure movie with Gene Hackman that had his character on the run from government agents. The following summer, he starred opposite Kevin Kline in "Wild Wild West" (1999) featuring Salma Hayek and Bai Ling.

The end of 2000 found the budding celebrity back in theaters, playing a mystifying golf caddy who tutors unlucky golfer Matt Damon in "The Legend of Bagger Vance" (2000). He then trained intensely for his most difficult role - that of notorious boxer Muhammad Ali in director Michael Mann's biopic "Ali" (2001). The film worked hard to find an audience, and reviews were mixed, even if his performance earned him his first Oscar nomination. 

He next executive produced the Robert De Niro and Eddie Murphy comedy "Showtime" (2002), and doubled up with work in front of the camera, on the sci-fi comedy sequel "Men in Black II", also directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. As expected, the film made a huge amount amount of money. He followed up with another sequel in "Bad Boys II". It flew to the top of the charts, as expected. The next year saw Will in "I, Robot", a futuristic fantasy, and the CGI animated "Shark Tale", in which he voiced Oscar, a little fish with a big way of thinking, who cleans whales for a living. "Shark Tale" was a hit, and was helped by other famous voices belonging to Robert De Niro, Jack Black, Renee Zellweger and Angelina Jolie. 

Smith had demonstrated himself to be an action star and sexy celebrity over and over, and received outstanding reviews for his dramatic work, it remained to be seen if he could carry a romantic comedy as the lead. All guesswork ended in early 2005 with the release of "Hitch" (2005) starring Eva Mendes and Will as a legendary "date doctor," the film had the biggest opening weekend for a romantic comedy that year, leading many to doubt if there was anything he could not do.

The following year, he starred in the film "The Pursuit of Happyness". Set in early-'80s San Francisco, and directed by Gabriele Muccino, the film tells the true story of Charles Gardner, a single dad under pressure, in an unpaid position as an intern at a Wall Street firm, all in an effort to be able provide for his son. With the release of "The Pursuit of Happyness", the actor had been given his first motion picture breakthrough role earning him a second Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. 

Next, he ventured into more sci-fi thriller and horror in "I Am Legend" (2007), the third screen project of sci-fi legend Richard Matheson's book of the same name about what happens years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, and the sole survivor in New York City struggles courageously to find a cure.  Returning to action comedy, he took the leading role in "Hancock" (2008) about a hard-living superhero who has fallen out of favor with the public and enters into a questionable relationship with the wife of the public relations professional who's trying to repair his image. He was then hired and cast in the dramatic "Seven Pounds" (2008), the emotional story of a man who will change the lives of seven strangers. 

Wrapping up the year, he took a role in the dramatic film "The Trial of the Chicago 7" (2008), set during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago where there were massive demonstrations against the Vietnam War. When a curfew is finally instated, it leads to even further protests, eventually leading to a police riot. Following this, eight of the demonstrators (Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Bobby Seale, John Froines, Tom Hayden, Lee Weiner, and David Dellinger) were tried for conspiracy. This is the story of the trial that followed.
 

In January 2008, the now famous celebrity was seen handing out cards relating to the Church of Scientology, raising speculation that his friendship with actor Tom Cruise had persuaded him to venture into the realm of Scientology. If true, he would be among the growing number of Hollywood celebrities that embrace the ideas of L. Ron Hubbard and his not-so-well understood creation - The Church of Scientology.  

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