Chris Tucker was born in Decatur, Georgia, in 1971. He first made a name for himself with his regular standup performances on Def Comedy Jam. After a string of smaller film roles, Tucker vaulted to fame and wealth with the Rush Hour series, starring alongside Jackie Chan. In 2012, after a five-year hiatus, he returned to the big screen in Silver Linings Playbook.
The long hours that Tucker put into carving out a name for himself at various L.A. comedy clubs soon paid off: He began making regular standup spots on Def Comedy Jam, and that role led to several appearances on the ABC sitcom Hangin' With Mr. Cooper. He made his film debut in 1994 with a bit role in House Party 3.
Tucker's big break came in 1995, when he landed a small role as Smokey, a talkative pothead, in the film Friday, starring Ice Cube. The movie delivered big box office returns and put the young Tucker on the radar screen of its fans. In 1997, Tucker's fame took another big leap with his role as Ruby Rhod in The Fifth Element, a science-fiction thriller starring Bruce Willis. That same year, he played Beaumont Livingston in the Quentin Tarantino-directed Jackie Brown.
But it was Tucker's role as Detective James Carter in the cop-comedy blockbuser Rush Hour (1998), alongside Jackie Chan, that propelled him to A-list celebrity status.
In 2011, Tucker returned to the world of stand-up. His breakthrough return came the following year in the film Silver Linings Playbook, starring Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro and Jennifer Lawrence. The project cast Tucker as a funny but troubled man trying to overcome mental illness. The role drew praise from critics and jump-started talk about Tucker's return to film.