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.
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 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.
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 visiting Angola, the birthplace of some of his ancestors, with the program’s host, Henry Louis Gates.