Will Smith’s father Willard Carroll Smith, Sr. has died.
The sad news was revealed by the “Hancock” actor’s ex-wife Sheree Fletcher, to whom he was married from 1992 to 1995 and shares 23-year-old son Trey, on Instagram on Monday (November 7).
Posting a sweet snap of Trey with his father and grandfather, Sheree wrote: “We’re gonna miss you Daddio! You lived & played by your own rules…you truly were 1 of a kind! You instilled discipline, and a work ethic that has created a legacy in your honor! #RIPDaddio#donttellmetheresnothingyoucantdo#WillSMITH1.”
Smith’s father served in the U.S. Air Force, and consequently required his family to follow a very structured and regimented routine.
However, the actor revealed in a previous interview with Britain’s Metro newspaper that this way of life has shaped him into the man he is today.
Describing how his bed had to be made perfectly every morning, Smith told the publication: “That’s what he demanded and so that’s how I began in my career and in my life. There’s been a certain obsessiveness to my career and to the things I was trying to accomplish.
“It was like, ‘We’re going to get that flag to the top of the hill no matter what. It doesn’t matter that your ankle is hurt or it doesn’t matter that somebody is sad. Imagine how sad you are going be if you have no food.’ That’s what’s driven me.”
After being discharged from the air force, Smith, Sr. began a business delivering ice in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
His son helped him, and the actor admits that “the lessons coming from actual work with your parents” influenced the way he raises his children, including Jaden, 18, and 16-year-old Willow, with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.