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Will Smith, Black Gay and Bisexual actor and entertainer, was born on this date in 1968.
He was born in West Philadelphia to his mother, Caroline, an administrator for the school board, and Willard Smith, Sr., an engineer, and owner of a refrigeration company. Smith has one brother and two sisters, twins Harry and Elle, and sister Pam.
He graduated from Overbrook High School, where he received the nickname "Prince" from his teachers because he "charmed his way through." Later, he added "Fresh" to it. He started rapping at parties at age 12, and that's how he met Jeff A. Townes. They started performing together as DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.
They recorded five albums: Rock The House, He's The DJ, I'm The Rapper (Grammy-winning), And In This Corner, Home base, and Code Red, as well as a few singles and a Greatest Hits album. Big Willie Style was a huge global success in 1998, and so is Willennium the same year. As a solo artist, he's released Born to Reign (2002) and Lost and Found (2005).
Smith married Sheree Zampino in 1992. Their son Willard Carroll "Trey" Smith III was born on November 11, 1992. The two divorced in 1995. He married actress Jada Koren Pinkett on December 31, 1997.
At the beginning of the 1990s, he was offered a role in a sitcom based on his life. That's how “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” began, which lasted six years. In 1992, he got his first film role in Where the Day Takes You and appeared in Made In America. In 1993, he starred in Six Degrees of Separation. That was followed in 1994 with the release of Bad Boys. The blockbuster Independence Day came in 1996, then Men in Black in 1997 (which had a sequel), followed by Enemy of the State and Wild Wild West, and The Legend of Bagger Vance 2000. His other movies are Ali and I Robot.
Smith is one of only two hip-hop artists to receive an Oscar nomination in an acting category (Best Actor, Ali, 2001). Smith was recognized in 2007 at Grauman's Chinese Theater with a Hollywood Star. He was previously married to Sheree Zampino. He has two sons: Willard Smith III (nicknamed Trey) and Jaden Christopher Syre Smith. Will married Jada Pinkett (also an actress) in December of 1997.
He is a passionate chess player and owns a production company, Will Smith Enterprises. His brother and sisters also work for him--Harry as his chief financial officer, Ellen (who studied as a cosmetologist) as a receptionist, and Pam in the managing of Will's business in Philadelphia, an ice-manufacturing company and a charitable foundation that puts money into local organizations.
Smith has been criticized for his lip service to his hometown. Several of his songs talk about parts of Philadelphia and the surrounding areas. While he has spoken over the years about how much he loves the city and wants to give back, none of his proposed ventures in Philadelphia have ever been developed. He has proposed opening a restaurant, several upscale bars, and a community center in Philadelphia, which have never seen development.
In 2012, Smith stated he supported legalizing same-sex marriage. In 2019, He and his wife intervened on behalf of their son Jaden's health, and his movie "Gemini Man" was released.
In 2021, Smith announced that production of his upcoming film, Emancipation, is being pulled from Georgia because of the recent passage of the Election Integrity Act of 2021, which critics view as a restrictive voting law. Smith and director Antoine Fuqua released a joint statement: "We cannot in good conscience provide economic support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws designed to restrict voter access."
In 2022, Smith became the fifth black actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor. this was in the film King Richard. This happened after slapping presenter Chris Rock on stage at the Awards show. A week later, Smith announced that he had resigned from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences.