Will Smith is an American actor, producer, comedian and singer. Will first gained public attention by helping rap break into the mainstream in the late 1980s. Smith then leveraged his youthful appeal to star in a popular American sitcom for six years, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. When the show left the air, Will then took his career even higher by starring in the sci-fi action movie Independence Day, which turned out to be the highest-grossing movie released in 1996.
Will Smith has become one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Eight of his movies have opened at the number one spot in America, and he has twice been nominated for Best Actor Oscars (for roles in Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness).
Smith was born on September 25, 1968 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Smith is a Christian raised in a Baptist neighborhood and had attended a Catholic school growing up. Today, he states that he no longer practices an active faith but claims to be “a student of world religion.” (1)
His tax filings back this up: in 2007 Smith donated over a million dollars to different religious organizations including a Philadelpha-based Christian organization, a Los Angeles mosque, the Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Center in Israel, and the Church of Scientology. (2)
Will Smith has attracted scutiny by publicly praising the controversial religion of Scientology. Smith has stated that some of Scientology’s ideas are “brilliant and revolutionary”, and can appeal to people in a non-religious manner. (3)
“I’ve probably read 95% of the words in the Bible. Probably 60% of the Torah. 70% of the Koran,” Will said in a 2005 interview. “And the thing that is so amazing to me is how everybody, in essence, believes the same thing. I just can’t understand how we get from such similar beliefs to murdering one another. My beliefs are that individuals have to create relationships with God. You can’t listen to what the preacher says—you have to read the Bible yourself and make your interpretation.” (3)
Will is a tried and true Democrat. The actor supported former president Barack Obama since the very beginning of Obama’s White House run.
About the state of current U.S. politics, Smith said at the end of 2017, “This is the purge. This is the cleanse. This is what happens. This is the natural reaction to the amount of light that came into the world when Barack Obama was the president…This is the darkness before the dawn.” (4)
Will is also vocal on his views of race relations, particularly black relations in America. Smith has stated before that if he were committed enough to something, nothing could stop him from becoming president. “In my mind, if Ronald Reagan can become President, then why not Will Smith?“, he quipped to the press. (5)
Smith has been married twice. His first marriage was to Sheree Zampino in 1992 and lasted until 1995. They had one child together, a boy named Trey born in November 1992.
Will then married actress Jada Pinkett in 1997. The couple have a boy, Jaden (born 1998), and a daughter, Willow (born 2000).
In 2013, a rumor surfaced that Will had an affair with Suicide Squad co-star Margot Robbie. The story was denied by the actress but continued to make tabloid headlines for weeks. (6)
He is known to be a fan of Swedish metal band Soilwork as well as professional wrestling. His favorite movie is a 1957 one titled The Bridge on the River Kwai.
Will Smith was a guest at Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ exclusive wedding. Even after the Cruise/Holmes divorce, Will still counts Tom as one of his close pals.
He was a millionaire before he turned twenty.
Will is fluent in speaking Spanish.
2: The Nation
4: The Grio
6: Us Magazine