Music News

Happy Birthday to Oh-So-Lovable Will Smith

He may be turning 44 today, September 25, but Will Smith still looks like the wholesome, all-American kid who parlayed a successful career as the Fresh Prince into his status as one of the most successful actors of his generation.

So it's no big deal nowadays to find rappers making a successful transition to the screen -- there's Eminem, Queen Latifah, Ice-T, and LL Cool J -- but no one's been as embraced as Smith has. He is considered one of the most powerful people in Hollywood and the only actor to star in eight consecutive films grossing more than $100 million at the box office. And with worldwide receipts of nearly $6 billion, Smith's stardom has long since been assured.

Still, Smith's affable charm and seemingly unaffected personality gives him an approachability that assures him added appeal. His role on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was that of a savvy street kid moving on up to his aunt's mansion. It was through that corny premise that Smith found his way into our living rooms and hearts.

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Lee Zimmerman