Christopher "Chris" Tucker (born August 31, 1971) is an American actor and comedian. He is best known for playing the role of Smokey in Friday and as Detective James Carter in the Rush Hour film series. Tucker became a frequent stand up performer on Def Comedy Jam in the 1990s. He has also appeared in Luc Besson's The Fifth Element before beginning work on the highly successful Rush Hour films. In 2007, he negotiated a $25 million salary to appear in Rush Hour 3, which made him the highest paid actor in Hollywood at the time.
Tucker was born on August 31, 1971 in Atlanta, Georgia, the youngest son of Mary Louise (née Bryant) and Norris Tucker. His father was an independent businessman who owned a janitorial service. Tucker grew up in Decatur, Georgia, and after graduating from Columbia High School in Decatur, Tucker moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue a career in comedy and acting.
In 1992, at the age of 20, Tucker was a frequent performer on Def Comedy Jam. He made his cinematic debut in House Party 3, and gained greater film recognition alongside rapper Ice Cube in the 1995 film Friday. In 1997, he co-starred with Charlie Sheen in Money Talks, and alongside Bruce Willis in The Fifth Element.
Along with Jackie Chan, Tucker later starred in the 1998 martial arts action comedy Rush Hour and its sequels, Rush Hour 2 and Rush Hour 3, in which he played James Carter, an abrasive wise-cracking detective. After the commercial success of the first Rush Hour film, Tucker held out for a $20 million salary for Rush Hour 2 and was paid $25 million salary for Rush Hour 3. The latter was part of a $40 million two-movie contract with New Line Cinema that also included an unnamed future film. He was also to receive 20% of the gross against his salary from the Rush Hour 3.
Tucker did not reprise his role as Smokey in Next Friday (2000) or in Friday After Next (2002) because he had become a born-again Christian after filming Money Talks (1997). He starred in Michael Jackson's video "You Rock My World" and made a cameo appearance in Tupac Shakur's "California Love". On February 13, 1999, Tucker participated in the NBA All-Star Weekend's Celebrity Game. Other celebrities participating include rapper Master P, NBA Hall of Famers Clyde Drexler and Dominique Wilkins, wide receiver Terrell Owens, and four Harlem Globetrotters.
Tucker was announced in 2007 to star in the New Line drama film Mr. S: My Life with Frank Sinatra, directed by Brett Ratner and based on George Jacobs' autobiography of working as Frank Sinatra's valet during the Rat Pack era of 1953–1968.
In 2011, Tucker made a comeback to stand-up comedy. The next year, Tucker returned to film in the drama Silver Linings Playbook, co-starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro. Tucker's performance in the film was well received by critics and audiences alike. The film itself received numerous nominations and awards; Tucker was among the winners of the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast in 2012. He also hosted the 2013 BET Awards.
Tucker has a son named Destin, who lives with his mother in Los Angeles. He divides his time among Bel Air, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Atlanta, Georgia.
Tucker is good friends with fellow Rush Hour star Jackie Chan, and was also close friends with the singer Michael Jackson, introducing and dancing with him at his 30th Anniversary Special, and appearing in Jackson's video "You Rock My World" from his 2001 album Invincible and attending Jackson's memorial service. Tucker's career was also influenced by Jackson, as he is seen dancing and singing to Jackson's song "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough" in a scene in Rush Hour 2 and imitating Jackson's dancing style in Friday. A friend of Bill Clinton, Tucker has traveled with the former President overseas, and endorsed Barack Obama in the 2008 primaries.
Tucker participated in a PBS documentary on the genetic makeup of African Americans. He found he has African, European, and Native American ancestry. Through DNA tests (as aired on the 2006 PBS documentary African American Lives), Tucker's patrilineal ancestry was traced back to the Ambundu ethnic group of Angola and one line of his mother's to the Bamileke of Cameroon. He also managed to trace his family tree back to the 1830s. Tucker was shown visiting Angola, the birthplace of some of his ancestors, with the program's host, Henry Louis Gates.
|1993||The Meteor Man||MC in Hall|
|1994||House Party 3||Johnny Booze|
|1995||Friday||Smokey||Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo (with Ice Cube)
|1997||Money Talks||Franklin Hatchett||Nominated – Razzie Award for Worst New Star|
|1997||The Fifth Element||Ruby Rhod||Nominated – Razzie Award for Worst New Star|
|1997||Jackie Brown||Beaumont Livingston|
|1998||Rush Hour||Detective James Carter||Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Duo – Action/Adventure (with Jackie Chan)
MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo (with Jackie Chan)
Nominated – Image Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Motion Picture
Nominated – Kid's Choice Awards for Favorite Movie Actor
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for MTV Movie Award Best Fight (with Jackie Chan)
|2001||Rush Hour 2||Detective James Carter||Kid's Choice Award for Favorite Movie Actor
MTV Movie Award for Best Fight (with Jackie Chan)
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance
|2007||Rush Hour 3||Detective James Carter||Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Fight (with Jackie Chan and Sun Mingming)|
|2012||Silver Linings Playbook||Danny McDaniels||Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
|1992||Hangin' with Mr. Cooper||Rapper||50 episodes|
|1992||Def Comedy Jam||Himself||150 episodes|
|2006||African American Lives||108 episodes|
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