His full name is Willard Carroll Smith Jr. Smith was born on September 25, 1968 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

He has three siblings, sister Pamela, who is four years older, and twins Harry and Ellen, who are three years younger.

His father, Willard Carroll Smith, Sr., was a refrigeration engineer while his mother, Caroline (Bright), was a Philadelphia school board administrator.

In the late 1980s, Smith achieved modest fame as a rapper under the name The Fresh Prince. He formed an alliance with schoolmate and deejay Jeffrey Townes, whom he met in 1981.

They began recording as DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. In 1988 the group released the groundbreaking single “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” which went on to win a Grammy Awards.

In 1990, his popularity increased dramatically when he starred in the popular television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

During the series’ run, Smith garnered two Golden Globe Award nominations and served as an executive producer for the final season.

Smith expanded into cinema with Where the Day Takes You. His first leading role was in the film version of John Guare’s successful stage play Six Degrees of Separation.

The action comedy-thriller Bad Boys (1995), however, proved to be the turning point in his film career. While the movie was not a critical success, it made more than $100 million worldwide.

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

He later struck gold again in the summer of 1997 alongside Tommy Lee Jones in the summer hit Men in Black playing Agent J.

During the summer of 1997, Smith also began his solo career with the release of “Men in Black”, the theme song for the film of the same name.

Smith portrayed heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali in the biopic Ali. For his performance he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor

In 2002, following a four-year musical hiatus, Smith returned with his third album Born to Reign. The album was released on Columbia Records in the United States

Smith gained a place in the Guinness World Records book for most public appearances in 12 hours, by attending three red carpet “premieres” for Hitch (2005) on 22nd February 2005.