Near the top of the list of the most famous actors on Earth over the last four decades, sits Will Smith. Since his breakout in the 1990s, the multitalented star has conquered the music industry, television comedy with NBC’s “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” and blockbuster movies thanks to “Independence Day” and the “Bad Boys” and “Men in Black” franchises. In 2021, as Smith turned 53 years old, he also scored critical acclaim that has frequently eluded his grasp. His performance in “King Richard” as Richard Williams, father to Venus and Serena Williams, gave Smith the best reviews of his career and a Best Actor trophy at the Oscars.
His successes wherever he goes have resulted in an impressive number of awards, including winning four Grammy Awards (from eight nominations) for his recording work. For his acting in television, Smith has earned two Golden Globe nominations (for “The Fresh Prince”) plus two additional Academy Award nominations (for “Ali” and “The Pursuit of Happyness”), three Golden Globe film nominations, and a Screen Actors Guild Best Actor nomination (for “Happyness”).
Ahead, we rank Smith’s 13 best screen performances. Tour our photo gallery, which features these films plus “Men in Black,” “Independence Day,” “Hitch,” “Aladdin” and more.