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Will Smith

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1 Will Smith on Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:18 pm

hatien


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Willard Christopher "Will" Smith, Jr. (born September 25, 1968),[1] also known as The Fresh Prince, is an American actor, film producer, and rapper. He has enjoyed success in music, television and film. In April 2007, Newsweek called him the most powerful actor in Hollywood.[2] Smith has been nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, two Academy Awards, and has won multiple Grammy Awards.

In the late 1980s, Smith achieved modest fame as a rapper under the name The Fresh Prince. 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 (1990–1996) on NBC and has been syndicated consistently on various networks since then. In the mid-1990s, Smith transitioned from television to film, and ultimately starred in numerous blockbuster films that received broad box office success. In fact, he is the only actor in history to have eight consecutive films gross over $100 million in the domestic box office as well as being the only actor to have eight consecutive films in which he starred open at the #1 spot in the domestic box office tally.[3]

Fourteen of the 19 fiction films he has acted in have accumulated worldwide gross earnings of over $100 million, and 4 of them took in over $500 million in global box office receipts. As of 2011, his films have grossed $5.7 billion in global box office.[4] His most financially successful films have been Bad Boys, Bad Boys II, Independence Day, Men in Black, Men in Black II, I, Robot, The Pursuit of Happyness, I Am Legend, Hancock, Wild Wild West, Enemy of the State, Shark Tale, Hitch and Seven Pounds. He also earned critical praise for his performances in Six Degrees of Separation, Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness, receiving Best Actor Oscar nominations for the latter two.

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. The trio was known for performing humorous, radio-friendly songs, most notably "Parents Just Don't Understand" and "Summertime". They gained critical acclaim for winning the first ever Grammy in the Rap category (1988). He had a line in "Voices That Care", a 1991 Gulf War song by a celebrity group. Smith spent money freely during his early career 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.[12] 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. The show was successful and began his acting career. Smith set for himself the goal of becoming "the biggest movie star in the world," studying box office successes' common characteristics.[8]
Breakthrough (1996–2000)

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.[13] In 1998, Smith starred with Gene Hackman in Enemy of the State. Smith turned down the role of Neo in The Matrix in favor of Wild Wild West. Despite the disappointment of Wild Wild West, Smith has said that he harbors no regrets about his decision, asserting that Keanu Reeves's performance as Neo was superior to what he himself (Smith) would have achieved.[14]
International success (2001–present)
Smith in September 2009

In 2005, Smith was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for attending a record breaking three premieres in a 24-hour time span.[15]

He has planned to star in a feature film remake of the television series It Takes a Thief.[16]

On December 10, 2007, Smith was recognized at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Smith left an imprint of his hands and feet outside the world renowned theater in front of many fans.[17] Later that month, Smith starred in the film I Am Legend, released December 14, 2007. Despite marginally positive reviews,[18] its opening was the largest ever for a film released in the United States during December. Smith himself has said that he considers the film to be "aggressively unique".[19] A reviewer said that the film's commercial success "cemented [Smith's] standing as the number one box office draw in Hollywood."[20] On December 1, 2008, TV Guide reported that Smith has been selected as one of America’s top ten most fascinating people of 2008 for a Barbara Walters ABC special that aired on December 4, 2008.[21]

Smith is currently developing a film entitled The Last Pharaoh, in which he will star as Taharqa.[22]

President Barack Obama has stated that if a film were to ever be made about his life, he would have Smith play his part, because "he has the ears". Obama stated that the two have discussed a possibility of a film based on the 2008 election, but this may not happen until the end of the Obama presidency.[23]

He is currently filming Men in Black III for a 2012 release playing Agent J one of his more popular earlier roles, making this his first major starring role in four years.

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