Chris Tucker

Chris Tucker

Tucker in March 2012
Birth name Christopher Tucker
Born (1971-08-31) August 31, 1971
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Years active 1992–present
Genres Blue comedy, black comedy, insult comedy, observational comedy
Influences Richard Pryor[1]
Eddie Murphy[1]

Christopher "Chris" Tucker (born August 31, 1971) is an American actor and stand-up comedian. He is 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 also appeared in Luc Besson's The Fifth Element.

Early life and education

Tucker was born on August 31, 1971,[2][3][4] in Atlanta, Georgia, the youngest son of Mary Louise (née Bryant) and Norris Tucker.[3] One of six children, Tucker learned early in life that humor has the power to draw attention to himself both at school and at home.[5] His father was an independent businessman who owned a janitorial service.[6][7] Tucker grew up in Decatur, Georgia; and, after graduating from Columbia High School in Decatur, he moved to Los Angeles, California, to pursue a career in comedy and acting.


In 1992, Tucker was a frequent performer on Def Comedy Jam.[8] He made his cinematic debut in House Party 3,[9] and gained greater film recognition alongside rapper Ice Cube in the 1995 film Friday.[9] 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 Detective James Carter, an LAPD 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.[10] 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.[11]

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).[12] He starred in Michael Jackson's video "You Rock My World" and made a cameo appearance in Tupac Shakur's "California Love".[13] On February 13, 1999, Tucker participated in the NBA All-Star Weekend's Celebrity Game. Other celebrities participating included 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.[14]

In 2011, Tucker made a comeback to stand-up comedy. The next year, Tucker returned to film in the Academy Award winning 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.

Personal life

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 co-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.[15][16]

Tucker participated in a PBS documentary on the genetic makeup of African Americans. He found he has African, European, and Native American ancestry.[17] 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.[18][19][20] He also traced his family tree back to the 1830s.[21] Tucker was shown visiting Angola, the birthplace of some of his ancestors, with the program's host, Henry Louis Gates.[22]

In 2014, Tucker settled a $2.5 million debt. A representative blamed "poor accounting and business management".[23]



Year Title Role Notes
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)
1995 Panther Bodyguard
1995 Dead Presidents Skip
1997 Money Talks Franklin Hatchett Nominated – Razzie Award for Worst New Star
1997 The Fifth Element Ruby RhodNominated – 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 – Kids 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 Kids Choice Awards 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 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
2015 Chris Tucker – Live Himself Netflix Exclusive Standup Special[24]
2016 Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk Albert


Year Title Role Notes
1992 Hangin' with Mr. Cooper Rapper
1992 Def Comedy Jam Himself 2 episodes
2001 Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special Himself Guest
2001 Diary
2006 African American Lives

Music videos

Year Title Artist Role
1995 "California Love" Tupac Shakur featuring Dr. Dre & Roger Troutman Guest
2001 "You Rock My World" Michael Jackson Gangster
2005 "Shake It Off" Mariah Carey Car passenger


  1. 1 2 Chris Tucker – Movie and Film Biography and Filmography – Archived April 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved on October 19, 2011.
  2. Stated on African American Lives, 2006
  3. 1 2 Gates, Jr., Henry Louis (January 2009). In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary Blacks Reclaimed Their Past. Crown. p. 397. ISBN 0-307-38240-0.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved 2016-02-07. Official Bio
  5. "Tucker's early life".
  6. Chris Tucker Biography – Yahoo! Movies. Archived October 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. Chris Tucker Biography Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. mirobo1 Added (August 31, 2006). "Def Comedy Jam on". Retrieved January 11, 2011.
  9. 1 2 Chris Tucker at the Internet Movie Database
  10. Grossberg, Josh. "Chris Tucker's Taxing Situation" Archived July 31, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., E! News, July 28, 2010
  11. "Chris Tucker signs onto Brett Ratner's Rush Hour 3" Archived August 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.., May 5, 2005. Retrieved August 5, 2007.
  12. Anthony Miccio (December 8, 2010). "New Chris Tucker Movie Rumored, Plus 4 Other Comedy Recluses". TheFABlife. Retrieved January 11, 2011.
  13. You Rock My World at the Internet Movie Database
  14. Giles, Jeff. "Chris Tucker, Brett Ratner Reteam for Sinatra" Archived November 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., Rotten Tomatoes, September 20, 2007.
  15. Nedra Pickler (January 22, 2008). "Obama sees rock-star power in action". Yahoo! News. Retrieved January 28, 2008.
  16. Candace Newson (January 26, 2008). "On the trail: Stars talk politics, endorsements as they 'stand for change' with Obama". The Times and Democrat. Retrieved January 28, 2008.
  17. Richard Willing (February 1, 2006). "DNA rewrites history for African-Americans". USA Today. Retrieved August 5, 2008. Check date values in: |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  18. "African Ancestry & DNA Tests: The Results" Archived March 6, 2016, at the Wayback Machine..
  19. Kam Williams. "Chris Tucker 'Rush Hour 3' Interview with Kam Williams".
  20. Chris Tucker and Brett Ratner The A.V. Club Archived December 31, 2008, at the Wayback Machine..
  21. African Ancestry & DNA Tests Archived December 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine..
  22. Oprah, Bishop Jakes, Chris Tucker Trace Roots On PBS Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.. January 31, 2006. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  23. Duke, Alan (September 1, 2014). "Chris Tucker settles huge tax bill; poor management blamed for IRS lien". CNN. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  24. "Chris Tucker Live".

External links

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