In the 1990s and early 2000s, actor-comedian Chris Tucker skyrocketed to fame, first as Smokey in Friday, then with starring roles opposite Jackie Chan in the Rush Hour films. He made time to pop up in some unexpected places, like music videos for Michael Jackson's "You Rock My World" and Mariah Carey's "Shake It Off," but then it felt like he disappeared - what happened to Chris Tucker?
Chris Tucker today is back to touring and performing stand-up, but he hasn't quite hit the level of fame he once had. He slipped off the A-list radar to take a step back from comedy and focus on his spirituality, and when he does take on big roles, he selects them very carefully. Additional stories about Chris Tucker involve some highs, like his outstanding performances in dramas like Silver Linings Playbook, and some lows, like his tax evasion. Here's everything you didn't know about Chris Tucker.
He Was The Highest Paid Actor In Hollywood When He Earned $25 Million For 'Rush Hour 3'Video: YouTube
By the time Rush Hour 3 was released in 2007, Tucker was one of Hollywood's highest-paid stars. The millions were justified, as Rush Hour 2 was the highest-earning comedy at the time. Tucker got $20 million for that second movie, so a raise was definitely in order. He received a $25 million payday for Rush Hour 3, possibly out-earning even Will Smith.
As a result of his high salaries, he hasn't really needed to do any movies that aren't up to his standards.
He Loves Learning About Black Cowboys And Went To The Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo
In July 2017, Tucker attended a celebration of African American cowboys and their roles in history: The 33rd Annual Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo. Tucker loved it, noting how culturally important it was: "For me, it’s a great experience. I’ve been to a rodeo before, but not like this. It’s our people. It’s great. You feel the spirit and the synergy around what they’re doing. It’s a great, great event."
He Traced His Genealogy On TV
In the mid-2000s, Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. of Harvard University presented a fascinating program called African American Lives 2 in which he traced the genealogical roots of African American celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Tucker. While investigating Tucker's heritage, Gates discovered the actor had significant Native American ancestry.
Tucker also traced his maternal ancestry to Cameroon and his paternal ancestry to Angola. He later traveled to both countries.
He's Very Involved In Raising Money For Various Charities
Tucker is passionate about raising funds for various charities. During his time away from the spotlight, Tucker devoted lots of effort to humanitarian causes. He mentioned to the Los Angeles Times that he traveled across Africa with President Bill Clinton and also helps run the Chris Tucker Foundation.
According to its website, the organization is devoted to improving the lives of young people and their families, "locally, nationally, and internationally through implementing innovative initiatives and funding life-changing programs."