Chris Tucker

Chris Tucker Headshot

Actor • Comedian

Birth Date: August 31, 1972

Age: 51 years old

Birth Place: Atlanta, Georgia

Well-known for his trademark rapid-fire wisecracks, actor-comedian Chris Tucker broke into movies in the mid-1990s, following a successful career in stand-up. After his scene-stealing turn in director F. Gary Gray's 1995 cult comedy hit "Friday," Tucker took on the role of his career as Jackie Chan's comic foil and high-pitched partner in the action-comedy, "Rush Hour" (1998). Thanks to the worldwide success of "Rush Hour," Tucker became the fastest actor ever to make Hollywood's elite "$20 Million Club" - the princely sum he received for appearing in the 2001 sequel. The comedian's star power remained significant enough to once again command a $20 million payday for the inevitable sequel, "Rush Hour 3" (2007). Tucker laid low following its modest success for a couple of years, but reemerged in 2011 to reignite his stand-up career, reminding fans of what he had always done best.

The youngest of six children born to janitorial business owner Norris Tucker, Christopher Tucker was born in Decatur, GA on Aug. 31, 1972. An incorrigible class clown, Tucker first displayed his gifts in a school talent show, where he proved a roaring success. Heavily influenced by Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy, Tucker wasted no time kicking off his comedy career. Moving to Los Angeles right out of high school, Tucker quickly gained a following on the comedy club circuit for his high-pitched delivery and manic energy. The young comic's stage act eventually led to an appearance on "Def Comedy Jam" (HBO, 1992-97), a cable showcase for rising black comics.

Tucker made his feature debut in 1993 with a small role in "House Party 3," but it was his co-starring turn in "Friday" which made his career. Cast in the role of the dope-smoking, underachieving sidekick, Smokey, Tucker completely stole the film out from under its star, Ice Cube. Shot mostly on location in South Central L.A., the film followed 16 hours in the lives of two friends, Tucker and Ice Cube, as they waste the day away, cracking wise and making witty observations. A sleeper hit, "Friday" took in over $27 million at the box office and spawned two sequels, neither of which Tucker returned for. That same year, Tucker also had a supporting role in the Hughes Brothers' urban action-thriller "Dead Presidents."

The year 1997 proved to be a banner one for Tucker as an actor. In Quentin Tarantino's "Jackie Brown," Tucker scored a small but pivotal role as Beaumont Livingston, a minor associate of Samuel L. Jackson's charming gun-runner, Ordell Robbie. Tucker then followed-up with another scene-stealing turn as a futuristic DJ named Ruby Rhod in director Luc Besson's $80 million sci-fi spectacle, "The Fifth Element." The suddenly hot comedian-turned-actor subsequently signed on to appear in the appropriately titled "Money Talks," an anemic, derivative comedy co-starring Charlie Sheen.

Continuing his success the following year, Tucker broke the bank in 1998 when he was paired with international action star Jackie Chan in "Rush Hour," the first of director Brett Ratner's highly profitable East-meets-West action-comedies. Par for the course, Tucker's character - fast-talking, motor-mouthed Detective James Carter - was not much of a departure for the comedian, who essentially played it as another version of his Smokey character. While some criticized the movie for being a "Lethal Weapon" rip-off, "Rush Hour" was a major hit, raking in over $140 million domestically and nearly double that overseas. Quite a haul for a flick that only cost New Line Cinema a relatively paltry $35 million.

Just as he was at the peak of his box office popularity, Tucker surprisingly retreated from movie-making altogether. After turning down several film offers, Tucker finally returned in 2001 for "Rush Hour 2." Despite a four-year absence from the big screen, he received a much publicized $20 million payday for the sequel. He also found time to appear in good friend Michael Jackson's then little-seen video for "Rock My World," off his last studio album, Invincible. He could also be heard on the song's spoken preamble, playfully taunting M.J. to make a move on a girl. In May 2005, he was called to testify by the defense during Jackson's trial for child molestation of 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo. Tucker had reportedly known the Arvizo family and claimed they took advantage of him by playing on his sympathies via the cancer-stricken Gavin's requests to meet with him. He testified that he warned Michael Jackson about the family being opportunists.

Tucker had once again dropped off the movie screen radar, this time, for a full six years. While his two self-imposed exiles likely did not help further his career, neither did they particularly hurt it. In fact, to hear Tucker tell it, the sabbaticals were exactly what the comedian needed to remain grounded. Traveling to Africa, he saw first-hand the devastation that poverty, AIDS and hunger had inflicted. The experience proved life-changing for the comic, who later set up a foundation in his name to help African children attain the basic necessities of life. Thankfully for fans of the Chan-Tucker franchise, Tucker also returned to reprise his signature role in "Rush Hour 3" (2007), which performed below its predecessor, but was nonetheless, a hit. Meanwhile, Tucker receded into the shadows and laid low for a couple more years, only to reemerge in 2011 to kick-start his stand-up comedy career. The move coincided with reports that he ran into financial trouble following the foreclosure of his $6 million home in Lake Apopka, FL.

Credits

AirStream

Actor
Howard White
Movie
2023
93%

Phat TuesdaysStream

Self
Docuseries
2022
100%

Def Comedy Jam

Self
Show
2021

Urban One Honors: Celebrating 40 Years of Radio One

Host
Show
2020

The Kelly Clarkson ShowStream

Guest
Talk
2019

Taking the Stage: African American Music and Stories That Changed America

Guest
Show
2017

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Actor
Albert
Movie
2016

Chris Tucker Live

Actor
Show
2015

The Late Late Show With James Corden

Guest
Talk
2015

Good Morning Britain

Guest
Show
2014

Late Night With Seth MeyersStream

Guest
Talk
2014

The Arsenio Hall Show

Guest
Show
2013

BET Awards 2013: Extras

Actor
Show
2013

BET Awards 2013

Host
Show
2013

Silver Linings Playbook: Extras

Actor
Show
2013

Steve Harvey

Guest
Talk
2012

Live! With Kelly and Michael

Guest
Talk
2012

Silver Linings PlaybookStream

Actor
Danny
Movie
2012
92%

ConanStream

Guest
Talk
2010

The Talk

Guest
Talk
2010

Access Hollywood Live

Guest
Show
2010

Lopez Tonight

Guest
Show
2009

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

Guest
Talk
2009

Andrew Young Presents: Continent of Opportunity

Guest
Show
2008

Rush Hour 3Stream

Actor
Det. James Carter
Movie
2007
17%

etalk

Guest
Show
2006

ET Canada

Guest
Show
2005

36th NAACP Image Awards

Host
Show
2005

Tavis Smiley

Guest
Talk
2004

The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Guest
Talk
2003

Jimmy Kimmel Live!Stream

Guest
Talk
2003

Rush Hour 2Stream

Actor
Carter
Movie
2001
51%

106 & Park: BET's Top 10 Live

Guest
Show
2000

Rush HourStream

Actor
Detective James Carter
Movie
1998
62%

The View

Guest
Talk
1997

The Fifth ElementStream

Actor
Ruby Rhod
Movie
1997
71%

Money TalksStream

Actor
Franklin Hatchett
Movie
1997
16%

Money TalksStream

Executive Producer
Movie
1997
16%

Jackie BrownStream

Actor
Beaumont Livingston
Movie
1997
88%

FridayStream

Actor
Smokey
Movie
1995
76%

Dead PresidentsStream

Actor
Skip
Movie
1995
49%

House Party 3

Actor
Johnny Booze
Movie
1994

The Tonight Show With Jay Leno

Guest
Talk
1992

Russell Simmons' Def Comedy JamStream

Actor
Series
1992

RoseanneStream

Guest Star
Himself
Series
1988
76%

Good Morning America

Guest
News
1975

Today

Guest
News
1952

News aboutChris Tucker