Feb 11, 2015 12:27 AM EST
Will Smith was on the TV show Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and has had a successful career as a film actor in several blockbusters since 1992.
Willard Carroll "Will" Smith, Jr was born on September 25, 1968.
He was born in West Philadelphia, to refrigeration engineer Willard Carroll Smith, Sr. and Philadelphia school board administrator Caroline Bright.
He attended the prestigious Julia Reynolds Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School in Philadelphia, as well as Catholic school and public Overbrook HS.
His parents separated when he was 13, but did not actually divorce until around 2000.
Though widely reported, it is untrue that Smith turned down a scholarship to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); he never applied to the school, although he was admitted to a "pre-engineering program" there. According to Smith, "My mother, who worked for the School Board of Philadelphia, had a friend who was the admissions officer at MIT. I had pretty high SAT scores and they needed black kids, so I probably could have gotten in. But I had no intention of going to college."
Smith started as the MC of the hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, with his childhood friend Jeffrey "DJ Jazzy Jeff" Townes as turntablist and producer, as well as Ready Rock C (Clarence Holmes) as the human beat box.
They gained critical acclaim and won the first Grammy awarded in the Rap category for their popular song "Summertime".
Smith spent money freely around 1988 and 1989 and underpaid his income taxes. The Internal Revenue Service eventually assessed a $2.8 million tax debt against Smith, took many of his possessions, and garnished his income.
Smith was nearly bankrupt in 1990, when the NBC television network signed him to a contract and built a sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, around him.
In 1990, his popularity increased dramatically when he starred in the popular television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The show ran for nearly six years (1990-96) on NBC and has been syndicated consistently on various networks since then.
He met first wife, Sheree Fletcher, at a taping of A Different World (1987) in 1991.
His 1995 divorce from ex-wife Sheree Fletcher 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.
He was a multi-millionaire before the age of 20.
While still making The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Smith began a second crossover into movies. Small roles in the drama Where The Day Takes You(1992) and the comedy Made In America (1993) were followed by a critically acclaimed lead in the drama Six Degrees of Separation (1993).
Smith was the first hip-hop artist to be nominated for an Academy Award.
He met wife Jada Pinkett Smith when she tried out for the role of his girlfriend on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990). The role eventually went to Nia Long.
The couple got married in 1997.
He was considered for the role of Detective James Carter in Rush Hour (1998).
In the 1998 rap lyrics of "Gettin' Jiggy", Will Smith says that Muhammad Ali would call him "The Greatest." Two and a half years later, he played the title role in Ali (2001).
Will Smith has 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.
He enjoys playing chess.
He played the role of Captain Steven Hiller in "Independence Day". He claims to have based the part on Harrison Ford's portrayal of the character Han Solo.
Smith can speak fluent Spanish.
Incorporates the line "Aw, hell no!" into all his movies as a running catch phrase like Arnold Schwarzenegger's "I'll be back!".
He is a huge fan of Professional Wrestling.
Smith has been nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, two Academy Awards, and has won four Grammy Awards.
He has received Best Actor Oscar nominations for Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness.
Chosen 1st on Forbes' list of Hollywood's Best Paid Actors, raking in an estimated $80 million between June 1, 2007 through June 1, 2008.
Smith holds the record for most Kids Choice Awards with a whopping six wins.
He turned down the role of Neo in The Matrix (1999). He instead took part in the film "Wild Wild West" which was a huge flop at the box office.
Lost his place in the Guinness World Records book for most public appearances in 12 hours to German actors Jürgen Vogel and Daniel Brühl, who attended four red carpet premieres of their movie A Friend of Mine (2006), one more than Will (22 October 2006).
Smith and his son Jaden played father and son in two productions: the 2006 biographical drama The Pursuit of Happyness, and the science fiction film After Earth, which was released on May 31, 2013.
Smith was raised in a Baptist household and went to a Catholic school, but he no longer identifies himself as religious.Though he is not a Scientologist and has denied rumors claiming him as a member of the Church of Scientology, he has spoken favorably about it, saying "I just think a lot of the ideas in Scientology are brilliant and revolutionary and non-religious."
Smith supports legalizing same-sex marriage.
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.
He was considered for the role of "Mr. Smith" in Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) before Brad Pitt was cast.
The Smith family has homes in Florida and Philadelphia.
They also bought a home in south Stockholm, Sweden because he feels it is the best place to relax.
He was among the guests at Tom Cruise's and Katie Holmes's wedding ceremony in Italy.
According to a Forbes report in 2007, for each dollar he got paid, Smith's movies averaged $10 of gross income.
His acting mentor was James Avery.
He shares a birthday with Michael Madsen, Michael Douglas, Mark Hamill, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Will Smith's net worth is $240 million.
Smith helped his daughter Willow with her hit song "Whip My Hair."
Will Smith is a very positive person. "Give me a problem, I'll give you a solution. I just love living. That's a feeling you can't fake. I'm glad every single day. I think that even the camera can feel that I'm a happy man."
He and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith were both cast in DC comics project in 2014 - Will as Deadshot in the film Suicide Squad (2016) and Jada in the television show Gotham (2014).
He has solved Rubik's cubes in both The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and The Pursuit of Happiness. This is a real talent of his; he has shown on live TV that he can solve a Rubik's Cube in under 55 seconds.
As of Hancock (2008), he holds the record for the actor to star in the most consecutive $100 million-grossing movies.
Will Smith is often called "Mr. July" by the media due to the fact that most of his summer blockbusters open in July.
He wrote and performed the song, "Just the Two of Us", about his first son, Trey Smith.