While most people are stressing over today’s (November 8) election, Will Smith is presumably in a state of mourning. His father, Willard Carroll Smith Sr., recently passed away, according to the superstar actor/rapper’s ex-wife Sheree Fletcher, who took to Instagram to share an emotional post.
“We’re gonna miss you Daddio! You lived & played by your own rules…you truly were 1 of a kind!” Fletcher writes. “You instilled discipline, and a work ethic that has created a legacy in your honor!” She also included a photo of three generations with Smith Jr. and his father alongside her son with the actor, Trey, who was 11-years-old at the time.
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! (Pic left to right: Will Smith II; Will Smith III (Trey); Will Smith I (Daddio!) #RIPDaddio #donttellmetheresnothingyoucantdo #WillSMITH1
Affectionally referred to as “Daddio,” Smith Sr. played a pivotal role in Mr. Fresh Prince’s life. In an interview with Reader’s Digest, he said, “I told my parents I wanted to rap. They said, ‘Rap?’ My mother graduated from Carnegie Mellon. She thought college was the only way. My father could kind of see doing something differently. We agreed that I would take a year making music, and if it did not work out, I would go to college. That year we won the first Grammy given to a rap artist.”
In an interview with People, he also credits his father for being an incredible role model.
“I look at my father and how he was able to keep four kids fed and clothed and still managed to find time to spend with us,” he said.
Smith Sr. worked as a refrigerator engineer in West Philadelphia. He and his wife, Caroline Bright had four children. The couple divorced in 2000.
Will Smith has yet to publicly address the passing of his father.
HipHopDX sends its condolences to Willard Carroll Smith Sr.’s family and friends.