LL Cool J

Rapper, Actor, Songwriter
Grammy winner LL Cool J established himself as one of the first real hip-hop superstars before enjoying two decades of steady musical output and a lucrative side business as a film and television actor. After he helped ... Read more »
Born: 01/14/1968 in Queens, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (193)

NCIS: Los Angeles 2009 - 2016 (TV Show)

Actor

A Very Grammy Christms 2014 - 2015 (TV Show)

Host

Guys Choice 2014 - 2015 (TV Show)

Guest

Lip Sync Battle 1989 - 1998, 2014 - 2015 (TV Show)

Host

MTV Unplugged 1989 - 1998, 2014 - 2015 (Tv Show)

Actor

Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways 2014 (Tv Show)

Interviewee

Jimmy Kimmel Live 2012, 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

Nickelodeon's 27th Annual Kids' Choice Awards 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Presenter

The 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Presenter

The 56th Annual Grammy Awards 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Host

The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Presenter

Grudge Match 2013 (Movie)

Frankie Brite (Actor)

Mayweather 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)

Narrator

The 2012 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)

Presenter

The 2013 VH1 Do Something Awards 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)

Actor

The 39th Annual People's Choice Awards 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)

Presenter

The 44th NAACP Image Awards 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)

Presenter

The 55th Annual Grammy Awards 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)

Host

The Grammys Will Go On: A Death in the Family 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)

Actor

The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 2013 (Tv Show)

Actor

The iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)

Special Appearance

BET Hip Hop Awards '11 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Actor

Hawaii Five-O 2012 (Tv Show)

Actor

Teachers Rock 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Actor

The 43rd NAACP Image Awards 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Presenter

The 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Presenter

The 54th Annual Grammy Awards 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Host

17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards 2010 - 2011 (TV Show)

Presenter

CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute 2010 - 2011 (TV Show)

Presenter

Conan 2010 - 2011 (Tv Show)

Actor

The 42nd NAACP Image Awards 2010 - 2011 (TV Show)

Actor

The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards 2010 - 2011 (TV Show)

Presenter

The 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards 2010 - 2011 (TV Show)

Presenter

The 41st NAACP Image Awards 2009 - 2010 (TV Show)

Actor

The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards 2009 - 2010 (TV Show)

Actor

The 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 2009 - 2010 (TV Show)

Actor

The 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards 2009 - 2010 (TV Show)

Presenter

WW II HD 2009 - 2010 (TV Show)

Voice

100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

50 Cent: The Money and the Power 2009 (Tv Show)

Actor

9th Annual Celebration of Gospel 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

BET Hip Hop Awards 2008 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

NCIS 2009 (Tv Show)

Actor

Spike TV's Video Game Awards 2008 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

The 2008 American Music Awards 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

The 51st Annual Grammy Awards 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

The Late Show With David Letterman 2009 (Tv Show)

Guest

BET Hip Hop Awards 2007 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

Fashion Rocks 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

Project Runway 2008 (Tv Show)

Actor

So You Think You Can Dance 2008 (Tv Show)

Actor

The 2008 Teen Choice Awards 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

VH1 Hip Hop Honors 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

30 Rock 2007 (Tv Show)

Actor

Slow Burn 2007 (Movie)

Luther Pinks (Actor)

The 38th Annual NAACP Image Awards 2006 - 2007 (TV Show)

Host

The Deal 2007 (Movie)

Bobby Mason (Actor)

25 Strong! The BET Silver Anniversary Special 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

Last Holiday 2006 (Movie)

Sean Matthews (Actor)

Oxygen Custom Concert 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

The 2005 Billboard Music Awards 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Host

The 2006 MTV Video Music Awards 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

VH1 Hip Hop Honors 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

House 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

Mindhunters 2005 (Movie)

Gabe Jensen (Actor)

The Funkmaster Flex Super Series 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

The Second Annual Vibe Awards 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Host

2003 Vibe Awards: Beats, Style, Flavor 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

2004 BET Awards 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

E! Entertainer of the Year 2003 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Edison 2004 (Movie)

Deed (Actor)

Prince: The Art of Musicology 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

The 2003 Essence Music Festival 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

The 2004 MTV Video Music Awards 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

The 58th Annual Tony Awards 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

17th Annual Soul Train Music Awards 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

Deliver Us From Eva 2003 (Movie)

Ray (Actor)

S.W.A.T. 2003 (Movie)

Deacon 'Deke' Kaye (Actor)

VH1 Big in 2002 Awards 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

Friday Night Super Bowl Bash 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Making the Video 2000 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Rollerball 2002 (Movie)

Marcus Ridley (Actor)

The Chris Rock Show 1996 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

100 Greatest Pop Songs 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Celebrity Undercover 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Def Jam Uncensored 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Direct Effect 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Kingdom Come 2001 (Movie)

Ray Bud Slocumb (Actor)

MTV20: Grab the Mic -- A Hip-Hop History 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Soul Train Christmas Starfest 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

The 2000 Billboard Music Awards 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

The 2000 MTV Video Music Awards 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

The 28th Annual American Music Awards 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

The Source Hip-Hop Music Awards 2001 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

The VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

49th NBA All-Star Game 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

6th Annual Blockbuster Entertainment Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Charlie's Angels 2000 (Movie)

Mister Jones (Actor)

Nickelodeon's 13th Annual Kids' Choice Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The 14th Annual Soul Train Music Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1999 MTV Europe Music Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The 57th Annual Golden Globe Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The 72nd Annual Academy Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The BET 20th Anniversary Celebration 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The Source Hip-Hop Music Awards 2000 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Any Given Sunday 1999 (Movie)

Julian Washington (Actor)

Deep Blue Sea 1999 (Movie)

Sherman "Preacher" Dudley (Actor)

In Too Deep 1999 (Movie)

Dwyane Gittens--God (Actor)

The 1999 Essence Awards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The 4th Annual Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Caught Up 1998 (Movie)

Roger (Actor)

Halloween: H2O 1998 (Movie)

Ronny (Actor)

Keeping America's Promise 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Narrator

NBA Team Up Celebration 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Oz 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

The 1997 Billboard Music Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1997 MTV Europe Music Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1997 MTV Video Music Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The 25th Annual American Music Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The 29th NAACP Image Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The 40th Annual Grammy Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Woo 1998 (Movie)

Darryl (Actor)

B.A.P.S. 1997 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

In the House 1994 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Actor

Rhyme & Reason 1997 (Movie)

Participating Artist (Actor)

Soul Train Music Awards: 11th Anniversary 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The 10th Essence Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1996 Billboard Music Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1996 MTV Video Music Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The 24th Annual American Music Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The 39th Annual Grammy Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Touch 1997 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

10th Annual Soul Train Music Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

All-Star TV Censored Bloopers - Fat Free! 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

It's Hot in Here: UPN Fall Preview 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

The 22nd Annual People's Choice Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

The 23rd Annual American Music Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Breakthroughs: Amazing Things to Come 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Nickelodeon's 8th Annual Kids' Choice Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Out of Sync 1995 (Movie)

Jason "The Saint" St Julian (Actor)

The Show 1995 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Back to School '92 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1992 Billboard Music Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1993 MTV Movie Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The 35th Annual Grammy Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Together For Our Children -- M.U.S.I.C. 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

1991 MTV Video Music Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Comic Relief V 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1991 Billboard Music Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The 34th Annual Grammy Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The American Music Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Toys 1992 (Movie)

Patrick (Actor)

The 5th Annual Soul Train Music Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The American Music Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The Hard Way 1991 (Movie)

Billy (Actor)

Farm Aid IV 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The American Music Awards 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

What's Up, Dr. Ruth? 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The 2nd Annual Soul Train Music Awards 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

The American Music Awards 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Diana Ross... Red Hot Rhythm & Blues 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Wildcats 1986 (Movie)

Rapper (Actor)

Krush Groove 1985 (Movie)

LL Cool J (Actor)

American Idol (Tv Show)

Actor

Simply Mad About the Mouse (TV Show)

Actor

The Right to Remain Silent (TV Show)

Actor

Under the Lights (TV Show)

Interviewee
Music (38)

In Living Color 1989 - 1998, 2014 - 2015 (Tv Show)

Song Performer

Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son 2011 (Movie)

("Mama Said Knock You Out") (Song)

Happy Feet Two 2011 (Movie)

("Mama Said Knock You Out") (Song)

Movies Rock 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Performer

Take the Lead 2006 (Movie)

("What You Want") (Song Performer)

Take the Lead 2006 (Movie)

("What You Want") (Song)

Coach Carter 2005 (Movie)

("Headsprung") (Song)

Get Rich or Die Tryin' 2005 (Movie)

("I Can't Live Without My Radio") (Song)

Get Rich or Die Tryin' 2005 (Movie)

("I Can't Live Without My Radio") (Song Performer)

Yours, Mine & Ours 2005 (Movie)

("Slippin' And Slidin' (Itaal Shur Remix)") (Song)

Johnson Family Vacation 2004 (Movie)

("Move Sumthin'") (Song Performer)

Win a Date With Tad Hamilton! 2004 (Movie)

("Going Back To Cali") (Song)

Cradle 2 the Grave 2003 (Movie)

("Paradise") (Song Performer)

Cradle 2 the Grave 2003 (Movie)

("Paradise") (Song)

Deliver Us From Eva 2003 (Movie)

("Paradise") (Song)

Deliver Us From Eva 2003 (Movie)

("Paradise") (Song Performer)

Gigli 2003 (Movie)

("I Need Love") (Song)

Any Given Sunday 1999 (Movie)

("Shut 'Em Down") (Song Performer)

Deep Blue Sea 1999 (Movie)

("Deepest Bluest (Shark Fin)") (Song Performer)

Bulworth 1998 (Movie)

("Zoom") (Song Performer)

Bulworth 1998 (Movie)

(Song)

Space Jam 1996 (Movie)

("Hit 'Em High (The Monstars' Anthem)") (Song Performer)

Bebe's Kids 1992 (Movie)

("Mama Said Knock You Out") (Song)

Class Act 1992 (Movie)

("Boomin' System") (Song Performer)

Class Act 1992 (Movie)

("Boomin' System") (Song)

Encino Man 1992 (Movie)

("Mama Said Knock You Out") (Song)

Gladiator 1992 (Movie)

("Mama Said Knock You Out") (Song)

Gladiator 1992 (Movie)

("Mama Said Knock You Out") (Song Performer)

Strictly Business 1991 (Movie)

(Song Performer)

The Hard Way 1991 (Movie)

("The Hard Way" "Mama Said Knock You Out") (Song Performer)

Driving Me Crazy 1990 (Movie)

("I'm Bad") (Song Performer)

Driving Me Crazy 1990 (Movie)

("I'm Bad") (Song)

Less Than Zero 1987 (Movie)

("Going Back to Cali") (Song Performer)

Less Than Zero 1987 (Movie)

("Going Back to Cali") (Song)

Wildcats 1986 (Movie)

("Football Rap") (Song Performer)

Wildcats 1986 (Movie)

("Football Rap") (Song)

Krush Groove 1985 (Movie)

("I Can't Live Without My Radio") (Song Performer)

Krush Groove 1985 (Movie)

("I Can't Live Without My Radio") (Song)

Biography

Grammy winner LL Cool J established himself as one of the first real hip-hop superstars before enjoying two decades of steady musical output and a lucrative side business as a film and television actor. After he helped put fledgling Def Jam Records on the map with his 1984 hit "I Need A Beat," Cool J managed to remain a relevant recording artist throughout his career, parlaying his street smart persona and gym-rat physique into success in action-oriented films like "S.W.A.T." (2003) and the football blockbuster "Any Given Sunday" (1999). Cool J's off-the-cuff wit and smooth charm also found a home in big screen romantic comedies like "Last Holiday" (2006) starring Queen Latifah, and on his own primetime sitcom, "In the House" (NBC, 1995-96; UPN, 1996-98). When Cool J was cast alongside Chris O'Donnell on the successful procedural, "NCIS: Los Angeles" (CBS, 2009- ), his acting career advanced to a new level of mainstream recognition. While Cool J's crossover appeal cost him some street cred among the East Coast b-boy scene, the hip-hop artist was still selling half a million records a pop and attracting audiences 25 years after many of his flash-in-the pan competitors had long since disappeared from the public eye.

Relationships

Kidada Jones Actor

Companion
Briefly dated No longer together

James Smith

Father
Divorced from Ondrea Smith in 1972

Simone Smith

Wife
Began an on-again, off-again relationship in the late 1980s Married on Aug. 7, 1995 when Simone was pregnant with their third child

Ondrea Smith

Mother
Divorced from James Smith in 1972

Italia Smith

Daughter
Born in 1991; mother, Simone Smith

Nina Smith

Daughter
Born in 2000; mother, Simone Smith

Sameria Smith

Daughter
Born in 1995; mother, Simone Smith

Najee Smith

Son
Born in 1989; mother, Simone Smith

EDUCATION

Hillcrest High School

Queens , New York
Dropped out of school to record his debut album

Milestones

2012

Hosted the 2012 Grammy Awards ceremony

2011

Nominated for the 2011 Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actor: Action Adventure

2009

Cast as Special Agent Sam Hanna on the CBS spin-off series "NCIS: Los Angeles"

2008

Released final album under the Def Jam label Exit 13

2007

Co-starred as a gang leader opposite Ray Liotta in "Slow Burn"

2006

Played Queen Latifah's love interest in the comedy "Last Holiday"

2005

Co-starred in the thriller "Edison"

2005

Co-starred with Val Kilmer in Renny Harlin's psychological thriller "Mindhunters"

2004

Released tenth studio album The DEFinition; earned a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album

2003

First lead role, playing a a womanizer who meets his match in the comedy feature "Deliver Us From Eva"

2003

Cast alongside Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell and Michelle Rodriguez in the action thriller "S.W.A.T."

2002

Co-starred in the remake of "Rollerball"

2001

Cast as one of the leads in the ensemble feature "Kingdom Come"

2000

Appeared as Mr. Jones in the big screen remake of "Charlie's Angels"

2000

Released the album G.O.A.T., which stood for the "Greatest Of All Time"

1999

Won plaudits for his effective turn as an evil drug dealer in "In Too Deep"

1999

Co-starred as a football player in Oliver Stone's "Any Given Sunday"

1998

Featured in the horror sequel "Halloween H20: 20 Years Later"

1995

Released his successful sixth album Mr. Smith

1995

Starred in Debbie Allen's feature directorial debut "Out of Sync"

1995

Played a former professional football player on the sitcom "In the House" (NBC, 1995-96; UPN, 1996-99)

1993

Formed own record label, P.O.G. (Power of God); signed multi-album deal with Def Records

1992

Co-starred opposite Robin Williams in Barry Levinson's "Toys"

1991

Made acting debut in the film "The Hard Way"; also featured his hit song "Mama Said Knock You Out"

1990

Released highly successful fourth album Mama Said Knock You Out

1987

Released second album Bigger and Deffer

1987

Made early TV appearance singing on a Diana Ross special

1985

Appeared as himself in the film "Krush Groove"

1985

Released debut album Radio to critical acclaim

1985

Released first single "I Need a Beat" with Def Jam Records

Began producing and creating demos at age 16

Bonus Trivia

.

His stage name LL Cool J meant "Ladies Love Cool James."

.

"I'm not a joker. I'm not going to do the Sambo, tap-dancing thing. I don't want to be depicted in a stereotypical way. They [producers] are going to have to come up with some intellectual comedy for me." – LL Cool J quoted in the New York Post, April 10, 1995

.

"I'm not going to have maniac kids 20 years from now that are coming out of the clubs in Hollywood with sunglasses on, jumping into a [BMW] 325 convertible, and they're nuts." – LL Cool J quoted in Us Weekly, April 1996

.

"I wish they could take my longevity and bottle it." – LL Cool J quoted in People magazine, Nov. 4, 2002

.

"I wasted a lot of money in my life. I would buy houses, the jewelry and lots of cars. So many cars you wouldn't believe it. I'd buy Mercedes Benzes and cut off the roofs because they didn't come in a convertible. I bought Porches in cash. BMW's. Then I started figuring out that I needed to manage my money – LL Cool J quoted in GQ magazine, February 2003

.

"Rick Rubin gave me my break. I went down to his dorm at N.Y.U. and met with Russell [Simmons], let them hear my demo. And they formed Def Jam and put my first record out." – LL Cool J quoted in Vanity Fair, June 2010

.

LL Cool J reportedly took down an intruder who broke into his home on Aug. 22, 2012. The rapper/actor apprehended the intruder and restrained him at his home in Los Angeles, CA until police arrived.

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