The world knows Will Smith as a musician, a comedian and blockbuster movie star — perhaps even the most bankable star in the world. But in his new memoir, called Will, Smith explores another identity, one that has fueled his unwavering work ethic: that of a coward. Smith says that when he was 9, he stood by, watching helplessly as his father beat his mother. It was a moment that shaped his identity.
Grammy-winning rapper and actor Will Smith has had success in music, movies and television. He began his career as the Fresh Prince with DJ Jazzy Jeff. Since then, he has acted in numerous films and been nominated for an Oscar, for his performance in Ali. (This interview originally aired Dec. 17, 2001.)
Actor and rapper Will Smith. His film Ali in which he stars as fighter Muhammad Ali is now out on video and DVD. This summer he stars in Men in Black II. Smith also starred in the films The Legend of Bagger Vance, Men In Black, Independence Day, and Six Degrees of Separation. Smith got his start as a rapper, making his first record in high school. Known as the Fresh Prince he and his friend DJ Jazzy Jeff went on to make several albums and won two Grammys and three American Music Awards. He also starred in his own TV sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.