Will Smith, whose full name is Willard Carroll Smith, and also known by his stage name The Fresh Prince, is an award-winning American actor, musician and film producer.
Noted for his groundbreaking work in music, television and film, Smith has received various accolades, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, a Golden Globe Award, four Grammy Awards, among others.
Smith achieved wider fame for his fictionalized self-portrayal on the sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from 1990 to1996. He subsequently starred in the action film Bad Boys in 1995, and its sequels Bad Boys II in 2003 and Bad Boys for Life in 2020. He is equally noted for his giant roles in the sci-fi comedies Men in Black (1997), Men in Black II (2002), and Men in Black 3 (2012).
Oscars 2022: Academy Reacts To Will Smith’s Action
OSCARS 2022: Will Smith apologises for slapping Chris Rock
Recently he was entangled in a heated controversy that got intense global attention as well as criticism, after he slapped the American film actor and comedian, Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards night on 28th March 2022, in reaction to a joke the comedian had made at the expense of Will’s wife’s (Jada Pinkett Smith) hair loss which was due to a medical condition that necessitated shaving her hair.
Though Will later received his biggest award in his career the same night as the Best Actor for the movie ‘King Richard’, he later apologized to Chris Rock for slapping him at the Oscars, saying his behaviour was “unacceptable and inexcusable”.
Here are five things to know about the Hollywood megastar and musician:
Will Smith is a father of three children
The eldest is Trey Smith (29), a DJ who has also appeared in a number of movies including the 2003 sitcom, All Of Us.
Jaden Smith (23) is the second of the actor’s children, who has made waves in Hollywood as an actor when was just eight years old, appearing opposite his dad in the 2006 film The Pursuit of Happyness. He also had starring roles in 2008’s The Day The Earth Stood Still, 2010’s The Karate Kid, and 2013’s After Earth, in which he appeared alongside his dad once more.
Willow Smith, 21, is Will’s youngest. A singer and rapper with four albums under her belt, Willow was signed to Roc Nation, Jay-Z’s record label, as their youngest artist ever. In 2010, she launched her music career with the single “Whip My Hair”, which peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for Video of the Year at the BET Awards of 2011.
He had married once before he met Jada
Will had married Sheree Zampino from 1992 to 1995 before he married Jada Pinkett Smith. He got his first son, Trey Smith, with her. They were married for only three years before they split in 1995.
Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith are rumoured to be in an open marriage. Though the couple has never explicitly revealed so to the public, they have insinuated so in many ways. In September 2021, Will told GQ that their relationship had evolved beyond monogamy and that the two had “given each other trust and freedom” within their union because marriage “can’t be a prison”.
He also added that “Jada never believed in a conventional marriage.”
Will had an abusive father while growing up.
He once said he found it difficult to forgive his dad. His childhood experiences with his dad were horrible. He revealed that the most painful part of his childhood involved witnessing the physical abuse his mother suffered at the hands of his father.
He said the trauma stayed with him into his adulthood, to the point where he had considered killing his father.
In a memoir released in 2021, the Hollywood star wrote, “My father was violent, but he was also at every game, play, and recital. He was an alcoholic, but he was sober at every premiere of every one of my movies. He listened to every record. He visited every studio. The same intense perfectionism that terrorized his family put food on the table every night of my life.”
His wife, Jada, was once a very close friend of the music legend Tupac. Jada and Tupac — who was killed in a shooting in 1996 — shared an exceptionally close friendship. The two attended the Baltimore School for the Arts together and quickly became inseparable after connecting over their shared passion for theatrical arts.
In his memoir, Will disclosed how Jada’s friendship with Tupac impacted him, admitting that he felt “tortured” by the bond that Jada and Tupac shared.
“In the beginning of our relationship, my mind was tortured by their connection,” Will wrote. “He was ‘PAC! and I was me … though they were never intimate, their love for each other is legendary.”
Will stated that he felt jealous of Tupac’s “fearless passion” and “militant morality,” which he would compare to his own inability to stand up to his father — with whom Will shared a turbulent relationship, due to his father’s pattern of “violent” behaviour and alcohol use.