Actor, Comedian, Humanitarian
Armed with a trademarked style, incomparable delivery, impeccable comedic timing and signature voice, Atlanta native Chris Tucker has launched a career that has garnered international acclaim. Born on August 31, 1972, Tucker, the youngest of six children, grew up as a natural actor and comedian, best known for his impromptu classroom performances and spontaneous comedic satires. It was in the classroom where he found his first audience, which fueled a dream that would one day lead him to superstar status.
By the early 90s, fate uprooted Tucker from his hometown of Atlanta to pursue his lifelong passion of becoming a nationally recognized stand-up comedian. By 1992, he had gained a reputation as one of the leading comics on the Los Angeles circuit and was invited to participate in hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy All-Star Jam on HBO. This opportunity propelled Tucker to nationwide status. His performance not only caught the attention of viewers but also film makers for the upcoming House Party 3 sequel. The then 23-year-old would secure his first bonafide acting role as Johnny Booze, alongside hip-hop’s legendary duo Christopher “Kid” Reid and Christopher “Play” Martin.
That following year, the high energy Tucker paired up with another of rap’s greatest − Ice Cube in the 1995 cult classic, Friday. As Smokey, Tucker utilized his keen since of comedy and acting while developing a signature silver screen persona which would gain him international fame and recognition. In the same year, he gave a notable performance alongside veteran actor Lorenz Tate in Dead Presidents. By 1997, Tucker was on the top of every casting director’s list, landing co-starring roles in memorable films such as Money Talks, with actor Charlie Sheen; The Fifth Element, partnered with action hero Bruce Willis; and Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown.
Beyond the popularity and notoriety of the previous years’ films, it was the 1998 blockbuster hit Rush Hour that amassed a global following that catapulted Tucker to international stardom. The action comedy, starring Tucker and martial artist Jackie Chan, would transcend audiences and surpass box office records, making the feature length film a certified success. The widely popular movie spawned an even more popular sequel further establishing Tucker as one of the highest paid actors in history. The third installment of the mega hit went on to debut as the number one movie in America.
In addition to his franchise success on the silver screen, Tucker continues to lead numerous humanitarian and philanthropic endeavors, nationally and internationally. In 2006, Tucker founded The Chris Tucker Foundation. The foundation’s mission to impact youth, both in the U.S. and abroad, has assembled community leaders, public figures and corporate executives to address critical issues and needs. Through his efforts and celebrity status, he continues to serve as a role model and mentor to inspire future generations.
In 2009, Chris was presented with an honorary Doctorate Degree from Talladega College for his professional and international philanthropic endeavors.