- 10:55 AM, Jul 19
Willard Christopher Smith II is an American actor and rapper who originally born and raised in Wynnefield section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is the second of four children, with the last two twins named Harry and Ellen, of the marriage couple Willard Smith Sr. and Caroline who owned a refrigerator company. Since his childhood Smith had shown himself as a smart and charming child, because of which most of his friends at Overbrook High School earned him the nickname Prince.
At the age of 12 Smith was greatly influenced by Eddie Murphy and new hip-hop heroes like Grandmaster Flash that encouraged him to begin rapping and soon perform on his own specialized comic style. At his 16-year age he met Jeff Townes, a Pennsylvania native, at a party in Philadelphia where he successfully made everyone attended the party laughed with his joke. Both of them became close and began performing together, Jeff as DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will as rapper Fresh Prince. Together they, in 1989, sang the humorous, radio friendly songs, one most famous was "Parents Just Don't Understand" that resulted in popularity and promising bright future career for both pals, prompting Smith to turn down his scholarship to Boston's super-prestigious MIT in order to follow his dream. This sacrifice somehow worthwhile as this song had granted Smith and Jeff the first ever Grammy award for "Best Rap Performance" in 1989.
Spending his time around wealth and popularity had made Smith got bored and tried to find something new and challenging. The answer came to him in 1989 when he met Benny Medina, who had an idea to produce a sitcom based on his life in Beverly Hills. The smart idea resulted in the 6 years lasted series of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," aired by NBC in 1990 and which plot was simple with Smith basically played himself; a street-smart West Philly kid transplanted to Beverly Hills.
Since then Smith tried to explore his acting ability playing in some movies until the movie critics recognized his performance through a 1993 film based on the John Guare play "Six Degrees of Separation," which explores the premise that everyone in the world is connected to one another by a chain of only 6 acquaintances. After that, he played in his next success film "Bad Boys" released in 1995 and its sequel "Bad Boys 2" which was very famous during 2003.