Willard Christopher "Will" Smith, Jr.
(born September 25, 1968) 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 (1990–1996) 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.
Smith's first major roles were in the
drama Six Degrees of Separation (1993) and the action film Bad
Boys (1995) in which he starred opposite of Martin Lawrence. 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. He later
struck gold again in the summer of 1997 alongside Tommy Lee
Jones in the summer hit Men in Black playing Agent J. In 1998,
Smith starred with Gene Hackman in Enemy of the State.
On December 10, 2007, Smith was honored
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.