Willard Carroll Smith Jr. (born September 25, 1968) is an American actor, rapper, and film producer. Smith has been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards and two Academy Awards, and has won four Grammy Awards.
During the late 1980s, he achieved modest fame as a rapper under the name The Fresh Prince. In 1990, his popularity increased dramatically when he began starring in the NBC television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which ran for six seasons until 1996. After the series ended, Smith transitioned from television to film and went on to star in numerous blockbuster films, most notably Independence Day (1996) and Men in Black (1997). He is the only actor to have starred in eight consecutive films which grossed over $100 million in the United States box office, eleven consecutive films which grossed over $150 million internationally, and eight consecutive films which opened at the number one spot in the US box office tally.
Smith has been ranked as the most bankable star worldwide by Forbes. In April 2007, Newsweek called him “the most powerful actor in Hollywood”. As of 2014, 17 of the 21 films in which he has had leading roles have accumulated worldwide gross earnings of over $100 million each, with five taking in over $500 million each in global box office receipts. As of 2016, his films have grossed $7.5 billion at the global box office. For his performances as boxer Muhammad Ali in Ali (2001) and stockbroker Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), Smith received Academy Award nominations for Best Actor.