Tucker on the set of Rush Hour 2 in 2001
|Birth name||Christopher Tucker|
August 31, 1971 |
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
|Genres||Blue comedy, black comedy, insult comedy, observational comedy|
Christopher "Chris" Tucker (born August 31, 1971) is an American actor and comedian. He is best known for playing the role of Detective James Carter in the Rush Hour film series. Tucker became a frequent stand up performer on Def Comedy Jam in the 1990s. He came to prominence in the 1995 film Friday alongside Ice Cube, and then appeared in Luc Besson's The Fifth Element before beginning work on the highly successful Rush Hour films. In 2006, he negotiated a $25 million salary to appear in Rush Hour 3, which made him the highest paid actor in Hollywood at the time.
Early life 
Tucker was born on August 31, 1971, in Atlanta, Georgia, the youngest son of Mary Louise (née Bryant) and Norris Tucker. His father was an independent businessman who owned a janitorial service. Tucker grew up in Decatur, Georgia, and after graduating from Columbia High School in Decatur, Tucker moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue a career in comedy and film acting.
In 1992, at the age of 19 or 20, Tucker was a frequent performer on Def Comedy Jam. He made his cinematic debut in House Party 3, and gained greater film recognition alongside rapper Ice Cube in the 1995 film Friday. In 1997, he co-starred with Charlie Sheen in Money Talks, and alongside Bruce Willis in The Fifth Element.
He, along with Jackie Chan, 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 James Carter, an abrasive wise-cracking 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. 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.
Tucker did not reprise his role of Smokey in Next Friday (2000) because he had become a born-again Christian after filming Money Talks (1997). He starred in Michael Jackson's video "You Rock My World" and made a cameo appearance in Tupac Shakur's "California Love". On February 13, 1999, Tucker participated in the NBA All-Star Weekend's Celebrity Game. Other celebrities participating include 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.
In 2011, Tucker made a comeback to stand-up comedy. The next year, Tucker returned to film in 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.
Personal life 
Tucker is good friends with fellow Rush Hour 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. A friend of Bill Clinton, Tucker has traveled with the former President overseas, though he endorsed Barack Obama rather than Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primaries.
Tucker participated in a PBS documentary on the genetic makeup of African Americans. He found he has African, European, and Native American ancestry. 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. He also managed to trace his family tree back to the 1830s. Tucker was shown traveling to Angola, the birthplace of his ancestors, with the program's host, Henry Louis Gates. Chris also loves basketball. His favorite NBA team is Los Angeles Lakers.