Willard Carroll "Will" Smith, Jr. (born September 25, 1968 in West Philadelphia) is an American actor, producer, and rapper. He has enjoyed success in television, film, and music. In April 2007, Newsweek called him the most powerful actor in Hollywood.
Smith has been nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, two Academy Awards, and has won four 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 (1990–96) 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. He is the only actor to have eight consecutive films gross over $100 million in the domestic box office, and 11 consecutive films gross over $150 million internationally and the only one to have eight consecutive films in which he starred open at the number one spot in the domestic box office tally. Will Smith is ranked as the most bankable star worldwide by Forbes.
As of 2014, 17 of the 21 films in which he has had leading roles have accumulated worldwide gross earnings of over $100 million each, five taking in over $500 million each in global box office receipts. More so, as of 2014, his films have grossed $6.6 billion in global box office. He has received Best Actor Oscar nominations for Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness. Smith married Sheree Zampino in 1992.
They had one son, Willard Carroll "Trey" Smith III on November 11, 1992, and divorced in 1995. Trey appeared in his father's music video for the 1998 single "Just the Two of Us". Smith married actress Jada Koren Pinkett in 1997. Together they have two children: Jaden Christopher Syre Smith (born 1998), his co-star in The Pursuit of Happyness, and Willow Camille Reign Smith (born 2000), who appeared as his daughter in I Am Legend. Smith and his brother Harry own Treyball Development Inc., a Beverly Hills-based company named after Trey. Smith and his family reside in Los Angeles, California.
Smith was consistently listed in Fortune Magazine's "Richest 40" list of the forty wealthiest Americans under the age of 40. He donated $4,600 to the 2008 presidential campaign of Democrat Barack Obama. On December 11, 2009, Smith and his wife hosted the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway to celebrate Obama's winning of the prize. 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 gave $1.3 million to charities in 2007, of which $450,000 went to two Christian ministries, and $122,500 went to three Scientology organizations; the remaining beneficiaries included "a Los Angeles mosque, other Christian-based schools and churches, and the Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Center in Israel." Smith and his wife have also founded a private elementary school in Calabasas, California, the New Village Leadership Academy.
Federal tax filing showed that Will Smith donated $1.2 million to the school in 2010 As of 2012, Smith supports legalizing same-sex marriage.
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