Friday, October 31, 2014
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Philly's 'Fresh Prince' Will Smith turns 45

Say "Happy Birthday" to the Fresh Prince.

Philly's 'Fresh Prince' Will Smith turns 45

Will Smith, right, holds the Grammy for Best Rap Solo for the song "Men In Black" as  D.J. Jazzy Jeff looks on at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards Wednesday, Feb. 25, 1998, at Radio City Music Hall in New York.  (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Will Smith, right, holds the Grammy for Best Rap Solo for the song "Men In Black" as D.J. Jazzy Jeff looks on at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards Wednesday, Feb. 25, 1998, at Radio City Music Hall in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) ASSOCIATED PRESS

Will Smith - who's still proving his relevance as an actor, rapper and producer - turns 45 on Sept. 25.

The triple threat is beloved for his starring role in hit '90s sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, in which Smith essentially played himself: A West Philly transplant who causes a scene within a picturesque, gated community in Beverly Hills. The Fresh Prince aired for six years, and upon its end, Smith continued pursuing his acting career.

Though the talent admits he's never taken acting classes in his life, Smith has starred in hit films like Independence Day, Men In Black, The Pursuit of Happyness, and Hitch.

The Philly favorite's first, real foray into fame took place in the '80s when Smith teamed up with DJ Jazzy Jeff formally known as Jeffrey A. Townes. In case you were wondering, the "Will" is short for Willard Christopher Smith Jr. The duo eventually won multiple Grammy Awards for hits like "Summertime" and "Parents Just Don't Understand."

Townes and Smith still remain best friends, and the actor continues to hold the City of Brotherly Love close to his heart: Smith worked with local director M. Night Shyamalan on After Earth, which premiered this summer, and he's a current minority owner of the Sixers.

So, Philadelphia, wish Smith a fresh and fantastic forty-fifth.

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