Actor Will Smith is mourning the loss of his father, Willard Carroll Smith, Sr., who died this week due to an unknown cause.
Will has not publicly responded to the heartbreaking news, but the 48-year-old’s ex-wife and mother of his eldest son, Trey, did share her condolences in a sweet Instagram post.
“We’re gonna miss you Daddio!” Sherry Fletcher, who was married to Smith from 1992 to 1995, wrote. “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.”
Willard, aka Daddio, a father of four and retired electrician, was known to be an influential part of Will’s life and successful career.
While promoting After Earth, the actor revealed to TV critic Shawn Edwards that he grew up in a family business and went to work with his father. “The only two jobs I’ve ever had was entertainment and the family business,” he said. “We delivered ice; we had an ice business back in Philly growing up and my father was an electrician.”
“At five years old, my father had me working,” he said. “Gotta earn your keep.”
Smith went on to explain that it was the days working with his father that ultimately led to the actor working directly with his son, Jaden.
Specifically for the film After Earth, Will revealed, “We were in China, we were working on Karate Kid … I was watching Jaden with Jackie Chan and they were having a good damn time.”
“I was like, ‘That’s my son, Jackie. I want to have fun with my kid like that.’ So I started thinking of something what I could come up with for he and I to work together again.”
In 2006, Will and Jaden starred alongside each other in The Pursuit of Happyness and in 2002, Jaden appeared in Men in Black II.
Our thoughts are with Smith and his family.