Hollywood’s first family

In show business, Hollywood in particular, there is what is known as the “A” list. The celebrities on it are invited to all the best parties and other high profile events, encouraged to dine in the finest restaurants, pursued by the top designers, etc., and all too often, hounded by the paparazzi.


You know who the “A” listers are — Brad, Angelina, Halle, Johnny, Reese, Denzel, Julia, etc. Their very presence virtually assures the success of an event and guarantees plenty of publicity.

From the moment they became a couple, and especially after they married in 1997, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have been on that coveted list. Their popularity soared even higher when their talented children, Jaden and Willow, began moving quickly down the road to stardom.

JADA PINKETT never imagined that one day she would be married to Smith. When a date was suggested by a mutual friend, actress Tisha Campbell, Pinkett was not exactly aghast, but not enthused either. (They had already met.)

“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air?” she rhetorically asked Campbell. However, she decided to give it a try and they “clicked.” “When we met,” recalled Pinkett Smith, “I never thought in a million years that Will Smith and I would be together.”

But successful marriages do not just happen. Will and Jada say it requires total commitment and a lot of hard work, plus compromise, understanding, and being steadfast about keeping family and business separate.

And then there’s communication. “WE TALK A LOT,” said Smith. “Sometimes people hear us talking and think we over-talk situations, but communication is everything.”

That includes discussions regarding maintaining right priorities. Pinkett Smith said bluntly, “I will throw my career away before I let it break up our marriage. I’d throw it away completely.” Smith has feelings just as strong.

“Divorce cannot be an option,” he said. “I honestly believe there is no woman for me but Jada. This is it. I can’t imagine what anyone else could offer.”

He has also acknowledged that he is far from being an underachiever when it comes to making love, and that in their case it’s a two-way street.

The Smiths live on a ranch near Malibu, California.

Smith has a son, Willard III, from a previous marriage.

WILL SMITH made a name for himself as a comedic rapper (with D.J. Jazzy Jeff) and later as a TV sitcom star.

Interestingly, Jada Pinkett auditioned for the part of Will’s girlfriend on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” However, she was turned down because she was considered “too short.”

Back in those days, no one knew that Will Smith was capable of serious acting. He proved them wrong in 1993 when he turned in a powerful performance in “Six Degrees of Separation.” Since then there has been a string of big movies — some blockbusters — that have worldwide gross earnings of over $100 million.

These include “Independence Day,” “Men in Black,” “Enemy of the State,” “Ali,” “I, Robot,” “The Pursuit of Happyness” and “I Am Legend.”

JADA PINKETT first came to the public’s attention when she was hired for a regular role in the long-running series “A Different World.”

She had previously attended the Baltimore School for the Arts and the North Carolina School of the Arts. However, she dropped out of the latter to pursue a show business career in Los Angeles.

Talented and ambitious, she was soon a familiar face in the movies, landing roles in such notable films as “The Nutty Professor,” “A Low Down Dirty Shame” “Set It Off,” “The Matrix Reloaded” and “Collateral.” THE CHILDREN seem to have talent in their blood.

Critics as well as the public were impressed with the performance of Jaden Smith, who will be 13 in July, in “The Pursuit of Happyness,” a 2006 release in which he starred with his father.

His next film was “The Day the Earth Stood Still” followed by the movie that made it clear that stardom was on the way, the remake of “The Karate Kid.”

Willow Smith, 10, has become a recording star, as well as a trendy, avant-garde “fashionista.”

She, too, has appeared in films, but she is best known as the artist who made the hit record “Whip My Hair” that reached No. 11 on the national charts. The follow-up is “21st Century Girl.”

Willow’s next film project is a remake of the long-running Broadway show “Annie” which was first made into a movie in 1982.

Fans of the Smiths are hoping that when and if the right script comes along, all four will star together in a film.

In the meantime, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith will continue to pick and choose from all of the “A” list invitations they receive.


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