Biography: Will Smith

Two-time Academy Award® nominee Will Smith (Agent J) has enjoyed unprecedented success in a career encompassing films, television, and multi-platinum records.  For his memorable portrayal of Muhammad Ali in Michael Mann’s Ali, he received his first Academy Award® nomination and that was followed by his second nomination for the true-life drama, The Pursuit of Happyness.

Smith is currently filming and producing After Earth under his Overbrook Entertainment production banner costarring Jaden Smith and directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

His extraordinary list of blockbusters includes I Am Legend and Hancock. He also thrilled audiences in such huge hits such as I, Robot, Independence Day, Men in Black and Men in Black II.  He does not limit his work to acting and, along with partner James Lassiter of Overbrook Entertainment, he produced, among others, Hitch, The Pursuit of Happyness, The Secret Life of Bees, Seven Pounds, Lakeview Terrace and The Human Contract, which marked the feature directorial debut of Jada Pinkett Smith. Overbrook’s most recent success was Columbia Pictures’ The Karate Kid, which was released June 11, 2010 and grossed over $343 million worldwide.

Smith won four esteemed titles at the 11th World Music Awards in Monte Carlo and an NAACP Image Award for Best Actor for his performance in Seven Pounds in 2009. Smith has also earned several Kids’ Choice Awards for movies such as Independence Day, Wild Wild West, Shark Tale, Hitch, and Hancock. Smith received the first ever Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance in 1989 for Parents Just Don’t Understand and has also won three additional Grammys for Summertime, Men In Black, and Getting Jiggy Wit It.

Smith has made it a mission to help others through his humanitarian efforts.  Among the issues most important to Smith are children’s education and outreach; in many and varied ways, Smith has long supported schools across the country.  Smith has focused his efforts to make a difference through the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation, which Smith and his wife founded in 1997.  

Also through the Family Foundation, Smith is part of the Kanimambo Foundation, a non-profit organization that implements innovative programs in Mozambique to improve the state of education, orphan care, and HIV/AIDS education and medical assistance.

Among his many accomplishments, Smith was honored by the Museum of the Moving Image in 2006 and received the Simon Wiesenthal Humanitarian Award in 2009. He was given the prestigious Simon Wiesenthal award based on his “commitment to education, cultural diversity, and social responsibility.”

Smith serves as an ambassador for Nelson Mandela’s 46664 Foundation, the African response to the global HIV/AIDS epidemic.  In 2008, Smith became a National Board Member for Malaria No More, a foundation with a simple goal: to end malaria deaths everywhere.  Smith has also long been active in the Make a Wish campaign, granting wishes and supporting the foundation’s efforts to better the lives of children with life-threatening conditions for over a decade and a half.

This biography of Will Smith is courtesy of Amblin Entertainment and Men in Black 3

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