Since first telling the cabbie, “Yo, holmes, to Bel Air!” back in 1990, the Fresh Prince has earned his place in entertainment history. Over the course of nearly 30 years — and thanks in part to NBC’s saving grace in the early years — Will Smith has gone from nearly filing for bankruptcy to earning millions per film.
Will Smith’s Net Worth as of 2019: $250 Million
Here is a look at how Will Smith got his current net worth.
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After actually being born and raised in West Philadelphia, Smith decided to experiment as an emcee and teamed up with Jeffrey Townes to release comedic and radio-friendly raps as the hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. The two went on to add Clarence Holmes (Ready Rock C) and released their first single “Girls Ain’t Nothin’ But Trouble” with World Up Records in 1986, a month before Smith graduated from high school.
By 1988, after their second album, the trio won the first Grammy for the rap category. Still young and unprepared for the price of fame, Smith overspent on his new lifestyle and underpaid on his income taxes. The IRS estimated he owed $2.8 million by 1989, and ended up garnished his wages and repossessed many of his belongings.
On the verge of bankruptcy, NBC approached Smith with the idea for a sitcom based loosely on his life. The pilot for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as a success and would continue for six seasons. It took Smith three seasons to pay his back taxes, but by the end he had solidified his acting career and set a goal for himself to become “the biggest actor in the world.”
During his stint on the show, Smith made his first feature film appearance in Where the Day Takes You, earning him $50,000 in 1991. He would go on to star in additional movies, and by 1995 he was making $2 million in Bad Boys.
Between 1996 to 1998, Smith fought aliens and nineteenth century “bad guys,” in movies like Independence Day, Men in Black and Wild, Wild West. He would go from making $5 million per movie to $14 million by the end of 1999 with the release of Enemy of the State.
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With the new millennium, Smith began earning upwards of $10 million per movie. By 2001, he salary for Ali was a whopping $21 million. With Men in Black II he earned $20 million with a 10 percent gross, and he saw 20 percent of the gross on top of his $20 million salary for Bad Boys II in 2003. Over the next five years, his salary would stay upwards of $20 million, with it topping out at $28 million for I, Robot in 2008.
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After a four-year break, Smith returned to the silver screen in 2012 to reprise his role in in Black III, earning him his average a $20 million salary. As he prepares for his upcoming starring role as Deadshot in this summer’s’ Suicide Squad, it is expected that Smith will rake in an estimated $30 million.
Will Smith’s current net worth is an estimated $250 million. As he wraps up filming for Suicide Squad and makes plans for future roles after the summer of 2016, his paychecks are sure to see a few added zeroes. It’s clear that at this point in his career, the Fresh Prince has learned to manage his money a bit better than the old days.
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