As USA TODAY, The Nation’s No. 1 Newspaper, puts it, “Will Smith . . . could film himself painting a fence and it would open at No. 1.” Whether he’s blasting away at bad guys or romancing the heroine, moviegoers love him. And because they show up at the box office, movie studio executives love him too. From humble beginnings in Philadelphia, Smith gained fame in the late 1980s as a family-friendly rapper known as the Fresh Prince. Within a few years, he was tapped to star in a new TV comedy, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The show earned Smith more adorning fans. During the show’s off-season, he took small parts in films. In 1996, his starring role as the action hero in Independence Day cemented him as a Hollywood superstar. Since then, he’s earned two Academy Award nominations for Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness and has starred in blockbusters such as Men in Black; I, Robot; Hitch; I Am Legend; Hancock; and Seven Pounds. While he continues to act and rap, he also produces films, raises his three kids, and works for worthy causes.
About the Author
Matt Doeden began his career as a sports writer. Since then, he's spent more than a decade writing and editing children's nonfiction. Matt lives in Minnesota with his family.
Table of Contents
Introduction Jump Start 4
Chapter 1 Young Will 7
Chapter 2 Prince Charming 12
Chapter 3 A New Direction 28
Chapter 4 Action Star 42
Chapter 5 Rise to the Top 50
Chapter 6 The Role of a Lifetime 66
Chapter 7 Will Smith, Superstar 78
Source Notes 106
Selected Bibliography 108
Further Reading and Websites 108