Award-winning Actor Will Smith is going through one of the roughest periods of his life. A few days ago, it was reported that Will’s father, Willard Carroll Smith, Sr., passed away. Will was named after his father and he was a very important role model in his life, particularly after the actor began to rise to fame. Will’s ex-wife and the mother of his eldest son, Trey, shared a family photo on Instagram with the news that Will Sr. had passed. Sheree Fletcher wrote, “We’re gonna miss you Daddio! 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!”

The photo shows Will Smith along with his late father and his eldest son, Trey, whose legal name is Willard III, meaning he was also named after Will Sr. Three generations of Will Smiths in one beautiful photograph.

Reflects on their relationship

Will had a very close relationship with his father, despite (or perhaps because of) the strict way he raised his son. According to his biography, Will Smith Sr. took it upon himself to make sure his son kept his feet on the ground as he rose to superstar status in his rap career and on the hit TV show “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." Will recalls his father taking him to one of the worst neighborhoods in Philadelphia to show him the terrible effects drugs had on people’s health and lives, which gave him a good enough scare to keep him from going down the path that many young stars do.

He discussed his relationship with his late father

According to Will, his father was tough but fair, and always kept him in line. He discussed his relationship with his late father in an interview with Essence magazine several years ago, saying: “He used to give me a look that said, ‘One more step, Will, and things are gonna get ugly.’ He was a businessman, he worked for himself installing refrigerators in supermarkets, and he always provided for us.

He’s been a very positive figure and influence in my life.”

It seems that Will’s deceased father did a very good job as a parent, raising a very talented son and helping him navigate the rough waters of fame. Will has been named “the most powerful actor in Hollywood” by Newsweek, but still manages to maintain his humility and humanity.