The ultimate multi-hyphenate, actor-rapper-producer Will Smith has done it all. A proud West Philadelphia native, Smith (born on September 25, 1968) began his rap career in his teens under the moniker “Fresh Prince,” recording friendly, non-threatening tracks like “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” a song that won the young Smith a Grammy in 1988.
After that, he splashed into the world of television, starring in the popular sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from 1990 to 1996. In 1996, he simultaneously relaunched his solo music career and became a bankable action star thanks to films like Men in Black and Independence Day. He’s also gone on to star in Oscar-worthy films like Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness.
Married to actress Jada Pinkett Smith, the couple has two kids, Jaden, born in 1998, and Willow, born in 2000. Smith’s oldest son, Trey, born in 1995, is from a previous marriage to Sheree Zampino.
The Philadelphia native won his first Oscar in March 2022 for his role of Richard Williams, the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, in King Richard. During the awards show, he made headlines for slapping comedian Chris Rock for poking fun at Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. Smith has since apologized for his actions. (Pinkett Smith struggles with alopecia.)