Willard Carroll Smith II (born September 25, 1968), also known by his stage name the Fresh Prince, is an American actor, rapper, and producer. Smith began his stardom starring as a fictionalized version of himself on the NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990–1996). Noted for his work in film, television, and music, Smith has received multiple accolades, including an Academy Award, four Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and nominations for a Primetime Emmy Award and a Tony Award. As of 2021, his films have grossed over $9.3 billion globally, making him one of Hollywood's most bankable stars.Smith first gained recognition as part of a hip hop duo with DJ Jazzy Jeff, with whom he released five studio albums and the US Billboard Hot 100 top 20 singles "Parents Just Don't Understand", "A Nightmare on My Street", "Summertime", "Ring My Bell", and "Boom! Shake the Room" from 1984 to 1994. He released the solo albums Big Willie Style (1997), Willennium (1999), Born to Reign (2002), and Lost and Found (2005), which contained the US number one singles "Gettin' Jiggy wit It" and "Wild Wild West". He has received four Grammy Awards for his rap performances.Smith achieved wider fame acting as a leading man in films such as the action film Bad Boys (1995), its sequels Bad Boys II (2003) and Bad Boys for Life (2020), and the sci-fi comedies Men in Black (1997), Men in Black II (2002), and Men in Black 3 (2012). After starring in the thrillers Independence Day (1996) and Enemy of the State (1998), he received Academy Award for Best Actor nominations for his portrayal as Muhammad Ali in Ali (2001), and as Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happyness (2006). He then starred in a range of commercially successful films, including I, Robot (2004), Shark Tale (2004), Hitch (2005), I Am Legend (2007), Hancock (2008), Seven Pounds (2008), Suicide Squad (2016) and Aladdin (2019).
For his portrayal of Richard Williams in the biographical sports drama King Richard (2021), Smith received widespread acclaim and won the Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor. At the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony, Smith faced public backlash for slapping and shouting at Oscar presenter Chris Rock after Rock made a joke referencing Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Smith subsequently resigned from the Academy and was banned from attending all Academy functions, including the Oscars, for ten years.