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  • WILL SMITH

    September 25, 1968
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Will Smith has starred in two of the ten all-time top grossing films worldwide: 1997ís summer blockbuster Men in Black, for which he also recorded the Grammy-winning title song and 1996's Independence Day. Smithís box-office power was recognized by NATO/ShoWest when he was honored as the "Male Star of Tomorrow" in 1995 and, just two years later, with their International Box Office Achievement Award. In 1999 the organization named him "Male Star of the Year." In addition, he was also selected "1999 Entertainer of the Year" by the NAACP Image Awards.
          Smith began his career in the music industry as rapper "Fresh Prince", who along with his partner, DJ Jazzy Jeff, recorded three platinum albums which went on to win two Grammys and three American Music Awards.
          Before his walk with fame, Will grew up with his three siblings [older sister, Pam and his younger twin siblings, Harry and Ellen] in Philly. Even though Will's parents seperated when Will was thirteen, they never let their seperation interfere with raising their family. Even as a child Will liked playing the fool at parties and family gatherings, but at the same time he took great interest in his academic studies, especially math and science, becoming such a whiz at Overbrook High School that he was offered a scholarship in computer science to MIT. But his music took center stage. In 1998 Smith went on to release his first solo album, Big Willie Style, for which he won a Grammy, three World Music Awards and four American Music Awards.
          Chosen by People Magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world, the six foot two Smith made the transition into television as the star of "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air," which wrapped its sixth and final season in 1996. Interestingly, prior to doing the TV pilot, Smith's only experience in front of a camera had been his music videos. Producer Quincy Jones sold NBC on both Smith and the show, though, "basically everyone was just taking Quincy's word that I could do this...," Smith expressed in the past, "...even me." The success of the show gave Will the confidence to set his sights on feature films. Determined to succeed, he took acting lessons whenever he could and studied hours of videotape of other comic actors, such as Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams and Tom Hanks, all of whom had successfully made the transition from television to features.
          He formed Overbrook Entertainment, a production company with a first-look motion picture and television deal at Universal Pictures. Overbrook also has a record label whose product is distributed by Interscope.
          In 1992 Will married Sheree Zampino, with whom he had son, Trey. They were later divorced in 1995. He met wife Pinkett when she tried out for the role of his girlfriend on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in 1990. She didn't get the part, but she got Will. They married in December 1997, and on July 8, 1998 their son, Jaden Christopher Syre was born.
    Photo © Armando Gallo/Retna

    Bio K. Kamarauskas ©2002 - [Please let us know of any errors]

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    FILM/TV CREDITS

    - Ali (2001)
    - The Legend of Bagger Vance (00)
    - Wild Wild West (1999)
    - Enemy of the State (1998)
    - Men in Black (1997)
    - Independence Day (1996)
    - Happily Ever After... (95) [STV]
    - Bad Boys (1995)
    - Six Degrees of Separation (93)
    - Made in America (1993)
    - Where the Day Takes You (92)
    - Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (90) [STV]
    - Blossom (1991) [STV]

    ARTICLE LINKS:

    1. People.com - [report]
    2. Digital Hit - [report]
    3. BoxOffice - [report]
    4. Hollywood.com - [report]
    5. E!Online - [report]

    PICTURE LINKS:

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