One of our most favorite sitcoms of all time is “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”
So in this post, we’ll reveal some fresh and interesting facts about Will Smith, one of the most famous movie stars who has starred in numerous amazing movies.
Did you know all of these?
1. Who is Will Smith?
Will Smith is an American actor, rapper, producer, comedian and so much more. It’s one of the most versatile artists to ever live.
2. Where was Will Smith born?
Just as in the sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” Will Smith was born on September 25, 1968, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
3. What are Will Smith’s astrology signs?
If you’re into astrology, his sun sign is in Libra, his moon in Scorpio, and his ascendant in Gemini.
4. Who are Will Smith’s mother and father?
His mother is Caroline Bright, a school board administrator, and his father is Willard Carroll Smith Sr., a US Air Force veteran, and refrigerator engineer.
5. What is Will Smith’s real name?
This means Will Smith’s real name is actually Willard Carroll Smith Jr. Obviously, “Will Smith” sounds a lot cooler.
6. Are his parents still together?
Unfortunately, his parents split up when he was just 13 years old. They didn’t divorce however until the year 2000.
7. Does Will Smith have siblings?
Will Smith wasn’t an only child, he actually has an older sister named Pamela and two younger siblings, twins named Harry and Ellen.
8. Did Will Smith go to college?
Even though Will Smith was a smart guy, he never had any intentions of going to college as he wanted to pursue a career in rapping. He would have easily gotten a scholarship to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), but he simply didn’t apply.
9. Where did Will Smith grow up?
In contrast to his character in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” who supposedly grew up in a bad neighborhood in Philly, Will Smith actually grew up in a rather comfortable, middle-class neighborhood in West Philadelphia called “Wynnefield.”
10. How did Will Smith become a rapper?
When he was only 17 years old he was an MC performing at house parties all around his neighborhood. So he became a rapper by performing at small events.
11. When did Will Smith meet Jazzy Jeff?
In the summer of 1985, he accidentally met the person that would help to make him famous, Jeffrey Allen Townes, better known as “DJ Jazzy Jeff.”
12. How did Will Smith meet Jazzy Jeff?
When Jeff was invited to perform in the area that Will Smith lived (actually only a few blocks away from his house), Jeff’s regular MC didn’t show up. Will Smith offered to help him out as a replacement. The two had instant chemistry and the rest is history!
13. A funny fact about Will Smith’s meeting with Jeff.
Here’s one of the funniest facts about Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff’s meeting. The two of them were having such a good time and gave such great performances that when Jeff’s regular MC returned, he actually felt miserable.
14. When did Will Smith and Jeff get signed?
Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff formed a duo shortly after they started performing all around Philadelphia in 1985. It took only a few months before they got signed up by Philadelphia-based Word Up Records.
15. When did their first single come out?
Their first single came out in late 1985 and was called “Girls Ain’t Nothing but Trouble.”
16. A duo that consisted of three people?
Did you know this? There was actually a third member in the duo named Clarence Holmes referred to as “Ready Rock C.” This made them a trio right? Clarence was one of Will’s friends who acted as a beatboxer during live performances but was never officially credited as being part of the duo “DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.”
17. The third guy wasn’t a good friend.
Not such a good friend though that Clarence. He actually sued Will and Jeff in 1990 for breaching an orally agreed contract. It was all about money of course.
18. Will was still in school during this epic moment.
Their first single came out and became an instant hit that was played all over the radio, 30 days before he graduated high school.
19. Will quit his part-time job.
This was just after he left his part-time job. He actually helped his father install refrigerators in people’s homes.
20. Will became a rapping millionaire.
Will Smith became a millionaire before he was 18 years old. Perhaps that also influenced his de-motivated attitude towards a technology college? Rapping in front of fans while making millions of dollars probably sounds better for a young guy.
21. Will and Jeff won a Grammy.
DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince won their first Grammy for their song “Summertime,” the first time it was awarded for a song in the rap category.
22. Will Smith went bankrupt.
Unfortunately, he was still living like a wild kid at that point and spent most of the money he made. He also didn’t keep a record of his income and actually underpaid his taxes, forcing him to pay a fine of $2.8 million. This turned the teenage millionaire into a young adult with serious debt.
23. Will got a lucky break.
In 1990, Will Smith’s financial problems were about to end. His rise to superstardom got a serious boost when he was offered the leading role in a new sitcom named “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” by the NBC TV Network.
24. How long did The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air run?
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air ran for 6 years. The show that was basically built around him made him world-famous as it became one of the most popular tv-shows of the nineties.
25. How many people watched The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air?
Apart from running 6 full seasons which had 148 episodes combined, the show ran on numerous other networks than NBC and attracted a staggering 10 million viewers combined.
26. Will Smith’s first movie role.
While he was still working on new episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, he also started his movie career. His first movie role was actually a drama movie called “Six Degrees of Separation.”
27. This movie made Will Smith a famous movie actor.
His big breakthrough in the movie business came in 1995 when he played opposite Martin Lawrence in the action-comedy “Bad Boys.” This movie grossed over $141 million worldwide and officially launched Will as an international movie star.
28. This was Will Smith’s first blockbuster.
Because of the success of Bad Boys, Will Smith was able to get a role in his first major blockbuster, “Independence Day.” This movie grossed over $817 million worldwide.
29. How did Will Smith meet his wife?
Will Smith met his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith while she was auditioning to play his girlfriend in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” She didn’t actually get the role though as it went to Nia Long. She did, however, find herself a boyfriend and future husband!
30. When did Will Smith get married?
Will and Jada married in 1997 and the couple has 2 children, Jaden Christopher Syre Smith (born in 1998), and Willow Camille Reign Smith (born in 2000).
31. Acting talent runs in the family.
Both their children are actors as well and even played alongside their father. Jaden in the movies The Pursuit of Happyness and After Earth, and Willow as Will’s daughter in “I Am Legend.”
32. Will Smith was married before.
In 1992, Will Smith was briefly married to Sheree Zampino with whom he had his first son, Willard Carroll “Trey” Smith III (born in 1992). The couple divorced after just 3 years of marriage in 1995.
33. Jada Pinkett and Tupac Shakur.
Jada Pinkett Smith was one of the best friends of late rapper Tupac Shakur, who she met while they both attended an art school in Baltimore. When we say best friends, we mean it as they both claimed their friendship went pretty deep.
34. Will was one of the first to hear Tupac died.
When Tupac Shakur died, his mother Afeni Shakur rushed to the house of Jada, and it was Will who opened the door for her. Jada recalls that she instantly knew Tupac was dead the moment she saw his mother.
35. Will’s inspiration for his role in Independence Day.
In his first major blockbuster “Independence Day,” Will plays the role of “Captain Steven Hiller.” he mentioned he got his inspiration to play the role from Harrison Ford’s character Han Solo in the Star Wars movies.
36. Will Smith, the rapping Academy Award nominee.
Will Smith is not just the first artist that ever won a Grammy Award in the rap category, but also the first hip-hop artist that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award.
37. This was Will Smith’s biggest mistake.
He was offered the role of Neo in “The Matrix,” arguably one of the best movies ever made. He rejected it and often claims this was one of the biggest mistakes he ever made. The role eventually went to Keanu Reeves which made him an absolute superstar.
38. Or was this his biggest mistake?
To make it even worse, the reason he rejected the role of Neo in The Matrix was that he got a role in the movie “Wild Wild West,” which he claims it’s the biggest mistake he ever made.
Perhaps these two claims are related? Or could it be something else? Either way, if we look at the rating on IMDB, Wild Wild West has a rating of 4.9/10 and is referred to by reviewers there as a “complete mess.” Well, Will can make some mistakes sometimes, nobody’s perfect.
40. He won another Grammy in 1999.
His fiasco with Wild Wild West is just a negligible footnote in an otherwise more than an impressive career. During the recording of multiple blockbusters that raked in 100’s of millions of Dollars, he still made music as well. His single “Getting Jiggy With It, ” won a Grammy in 1999.
41. Will Smith almost played opposite Jackie Chan.
Alright, Rush Hour (1998) is arguably one of the funniest movies ever made. The reason is the awkward chemistry between lead actors Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan that is naturally funny. The director of the movie actually considered getting Will Smith for the role as well as detective “James Carter.”
42. This is Will Smith’s favorite line.
If he got the role of James Carter, we would surely know what he would have said if he was introduced to Jackie Chan’s clumsy character “Lee.”
“Aww, Hell Naw” is a phrase that Will uses in just about all of his movies. Kinda similar to how Arnold Schwarzenegger uses “I”ll Be Back!”
43. Will Smith lost a world record.
Will once held the world record (which is officially added in the Guinness World Records book) of most public appearances red carpet within 12 hours. On a UK tour, Will appears on the red carpet 3 times in one night. he got beat by German actors Jürgen Vogel and Daniel Brühl who appeared 4 times to promote one of their movies.
44. Will made a song for his son.
One of the most touching songs Will Smith ever made was for his son Trey called “Just the two of us.” His son actually appears in the music video of the song.
45. Is Will Smith religious?
He was raised as a baptist and went to a Catholic school but he doesn’t identify himself as being religious.
46. Is Will Smith a Scientologist?
Will made some positive remarks about Scientology once, and the media suddenly started claiming that he joined the Church of Scientology. For the record, Will and his wife Jada are not Scientologists.
47. Will and his wife attended Tom Cruise’s wedding.
The fact that Will and his wife Jada were guests at the wedding ceremony of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes‘ wedding in Italy obviously didn’t help to stop the rumors.
48. Will packed a lot of muscle.
Over the years, Will Smith has gained a lot of weight. His main transformation came when he played the role of Muhamad Ali in the movie about the boxer’s life, “Ali” which was released in 2001. Will is about 6′ 2” and has been this tall since he was 13 years old, but has gained about 60 pounds since then.
49. Will Smith’s first Oscar nomination.
Playing the role of Muhamed Ali in 2001 also landed him his first Oscar nomination. Critics claimed that he really transpired what Ali was all about and people that saw Ali in the ring mentioned that while watching the movie it felt as if they were looking at the real person.
50. And his second Oscar nomination.
His second Oscar nomination was for his part in “The Pursuit Of Happiness,” in which he plays the role of a struggling father together with his actual son Jayden.
He likes to play chess, a mind game he learned from his father at the age of 7. We can honestly say that he has a very broad range of hobbies because he also enjoys watching professional wrestling.
52. Will really liked Uncle Phil.
The late James Avery who played the role of “Uncle Phil” wasn’t just a role model for Will on the set. he was a mentor and Will claims that “every young man needs an Uncle Phil in their life.”
53. He didn’t become Mr. Smith.
Do you remember the movie “Mr. and Mrs. Smith?” This movie is the reason Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie fell in love and eventually got married. Well, it almost didn’t happen as Will Smith and Catherine Zeta-Jones was also considered for the roles.
54. Will Smith has an amazing track record.
Sure, he had a flop with Wild Wild West, but he has one of the biggest winning streaks in the movie business of all time. He has starred in a record 8 movies in a row that grossed over $100 million worldwide. A pretty amazing achievement!
55. Can Will Smith solve a Rubix cube?
This definitely is not everybody’s cup of tea, but Will Smith can actually solve a Rubix cube. He actually did so on live television in under a minute.
56. Can Will Smith speak Spanish?
Apart from his talents in chess and solving a Rubix cube, he also appears to have polyglottic abilities as he’s fluent in Spanish.
57. Will Smith loves Django Unchained but didn’t want to be in it.
Will Smith was almost in “Django Unchained” from Quinten Tarantino (you know the director of our all-time favorite Pulp Fiction). He read the script and passed because he thought the real star was the bounty hunter, played by the extremely versatile Christoph Waltz. Not expecting anything less than the only lead, he passed on it, even though he truly enjoyed watching it.
58. Will Smith is a living legend for this.
You know you are considered a living legend when you are asked to sit on the jury of the movie festival of Cannes in France. Will Smith had the honor in 2017.
59. Will has a word for his international travels.
Will Smith’s work ethic is second to none. He travels all over the world to promote every movie he makes. When he embarks on another trip to spread the word about his new motion picture, he refers to this as “Global Willing.”
60. Here’s where you can see Will Smith, today!
He has several wax statues at the Madame Tussauds museums. If you want to see Will today you can do so in New York, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Bangkok!
61. This Will Smith Quote WILL inspire you.
To end this list of facts about Will Smith, we did some digging on some of his amazing quotes (he has a lot) and picked one that can be applied to all of us.
I never viewed myself as particularly talented. Where I excel is ridiculous, sickening, work ethic. You know, while the other guy’s sleeping, I’m working.