Chris Tucker
Tucker in 2019
Birth nameChristopher Tucker
Born (1971-08-31) August 31, 1971 (age 52)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
  • Stand-up
  • film
  • television
Years active1992–present
Azja Pryor
(m. 1997; div. 2003)

Christopher Tucker (born August 31, 1971) is an American stand-up comedian and actor. Tucker made his debut in 1992 as a stand-up performer on the HBO comedy series Def Comedy Jam, where he frequently appeared on the show during the 1990s. He acted in the films Friday, The Fifth Element, Money Talks, and Jackie Brown, and later gained widespread fame and popularity in the 2000s for playing Detective James Carter in the Rush Hour series.

Early life, education, and career

Christopher Tucker was born on August 31, 1971[1][2][3] in Atlanta, Georgia, the youngest son of Mary Louise (née Bryant) and Norris Tucker.[2] One of six children, Tucker learned early in life that humor had the power to draw attention to himself both at school and at home.[4] His father was an independent businessman who owned a janitorial service.[5][6] Tucker grew up in a Pentecostal Christian household; his parents were members of the Church of God in Christ during his childhood.[7]

Tucker grew up in Decatur, Georgia, and after graduating from Columbia High School, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his comedy career. His comedy influences were Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy, and Tucker was known by his teachers and high school classmates for making people laugh by doing impressions of Murphy, Michael Jackson, and others.[8]


Tucker in 2000

Tucker began showcasing his comedy skills before an audience in local Atlanta comedy clubs until he decided to move to Los Angeles in 1990 to further pursue his stand-up comedy career.[9] In 1992, Tucker was a frequent performer on the HBO comedy series Def Comedy Jam.[10] He made his cinematic debut in House Party 3 in 1994[11] and gained greater film recognition alongside N.W.A rapper Ice Cube in Friday the following year.[11] In 1997, he co-starred in the films The Fifth Element and Money Talks. He also played a supporting role in Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown and had a starring role in the spy comedy Double-O-Soul, but was never released.[12]

Along with Hong Kong martial artist Jackie Chan, Tucker starred as LAPD detective James Carter in the martial arts action comedy film series Rush Hour. After the commercial success of the first Rush Hour film, he held out for a $20 million salary for Rush Hour 2, and was paid $25 million for Rush Hour 3.[13] The latter was part of a $40 million two-movie contract with New Line Cinema that also included an unnamed future film. He was also to receive 20% of the gross from Rush Hour 3.[14]

Tucker did not reprise his role as Smokey in Next Friday (2000) or Friday After Next (2002) for religious reasons, later explaining that he didn't want to encourage others to smoke weed.[15] He starred in Michael Jackson's video "You Rock My World" and made a cameo appearance in Tupac Shakur's "California Love".[16] On February 13, 2009, Tucker participated in the NBA All-Star Weekend's Celebrity Game. Other celebrities participating included rapper Master P, NBA Hall of Famers Clyde Drexler and Dominique Wilkins, wide receiver Terrell Owens, and four Harlem Globetrotters.

Tucker was announced in 2007 to star in the New Line drama film Mr. S: My Life with Frank Sinatra, directed by Brett Ratner and based on George Jacobs's autobiography of working as Frank Sinatra's valet during the Rat Pack era of 1953–68.[17]

In 2011, Tucker made a comeback to stand-up comedy. The next year, he returned to film in Silver Linings Playbook, co-starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro. Tucker's performance in the film was well received by critics and audiences alike.[18] The film itself received numerous nominations and awards including the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast. He also hosted the 2013 BET Awards. In 2016, he appeared in Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. In 2023, he portrayed Nike executive, Howard White, in the film Air.

Philanthropy and political views

He endorsed Barack Obama in the 2008 primaries.[19][20]

In 2021, Tucker joined the Heal Los Angeles Foundation as an official ambassador. The Foundation is co-founded by Michael Jackson’s son, Prince Jackson, and their purpose is to help inner-city youth in Los Angeles by ending homelessness, child abuse, and hunger in the city.[21]

During the 2022 Halloween Thriller Night hosted by the Heal Los Angeles Foundation, Tucker and Steve Harvey were honored and received the inaugural "Man in The Mirror" Award. The award is given to influential individuals using their platforms for good. Tucker accepted the award that was presented by Prince Jackson.[22]

Personal life

Tucker has a son named Destin with his ex-wife Azja Pryor.[23] He divides his time between Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Atlanta.[24] Tucker once owned a home in Montverde, Florida, in the Orlando, Florida area.

Tucker is good friends with fellow Rush Hour co-star Jackie Chan. He was also close with singer Michael Jackson: introducing and dancing with him at his 30th Anniversary Celebration; appearing in his video "You Rock My World" from the 2001 album Invincible; and attending his memorial service. Tucker's career was also influenced by Jackson, as he is seen dancing and singing to "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" in a scene in Rush Hour 2 and imitating Jackson's dancing style in Friday.

Tucker participated in professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s 2006 PBS documentary on the genetic makeup of African Americans, African American Lives, that specifically focused on stories of Native American heritage in African-American communities. Tucker's DNA test results showed African, European, and "likely some Native American" ancestors.[25] Tucker's patrilineal ancestry was also traced back to the Ambundu ethnic group of Angola and one line of his mother's to the Bamileke of Cameroon.[26][27] He also traced his family tree back to the 1830s.[28] Tucker and Gates were shown visiting Angola, the birthplace of some of his ancestors.[29]

In 2014, Tucker settled a $2.5 million tax debt. A representative blamed "poor accounting and business management".[30] In November 2021, the IRS sued Tucker seeking $9.6 million in back taxes.[31]

Also in 2014, Tucker told an interviewer that he refrains from using harsh profanity in his performances due to his Christian faith.[32]

Tucker's connection to Jeffrey Epstein was covered in the 2020 Netflix documentary series Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich. In 2002, Tucker traveled in Epstein's airplane alongside Bill Clinton and Kevin Spacey for humanitarian purposes in combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa.[33]



Year Film Role Notes
1993 The Meteor Man M.C. In Mall Uncredited
1994 House Party 3 Johnny Booze
1995 Friday Smokey
Panther Bodyguard
Dead Presidents Skip
1997 The Fifth Element Ruby Rhod
Money Talks Franklin Maurice Hatchett Also executive producer
Jackie Brown Beaumont Livingston
1998 Rush Hour James Carter
2001 Rush Hour 2 James Carter
2007 Rush Hour 3 James Carter
2012 Silver Linings Playbook Danny McDaniels
2016 Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk Albert Brown
2023 Air Howard White
TBA Rush Hour 4 James Carter


Year Title Role Notes
1992 Hangin' with Mr. Cooper Rapper Episode: "Please Pass the Jock"
Def Comedy Jam Himself 2 episodes
2001 32nd NAACP Image Awards Host TV special
Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration Himself Guest
Diary Episode: "What About Me?"
2002 33rd NAACP Image Awards Host TV special
2005 36th NAACP Image Awards TV special
2006 African American Lives Himself 4 episodes
2013 BET Awards 2013 Host TV special
2015 Chris Tucker – Live Himself Netflix exclusive stand-up comedy special[34]
2020 2nd Annual Urban One Honors Co-Host TV special
Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich Himself Archive footage

Music videos

Year Title Artist
1994 "Nuttin' But Love (Heavy D)" Heavy D & the Boyz
1995 "Keep Their Heads Ringin'" Dr. Dre
"California Love" Tupac Shakur featuring Dr. Dre & Roger Troutman
1997 "Feel So Good" Mase
2001 "You Rock My World" Michael Jackson
2005 "Shake It Off" Mariah Carey
2021 "Love One Another" Tito Jackson

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1995 MTV Movie Award Best Comedic Performance Friday Nominated
Best Breakthrough Performance Nominated
Best On-Screen Duo (with Ice Cube) Nominated
1997 Razzie Award Worst New Star The Fifth Element Nominated
Money Talks Nominated
1998 Blockbuster Entertainment Award Favorite Duo – Action/Adventure (with Jackie Chan) Rush Hour Won
MTV Movie Award Best On-Screen Duo (with Jackie Chan) Won
Image Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Motion Picture Nominated
Kids Choice Awards Favorite Movie Actor Nominated
MTV Movie Award Best Comedic Performance Nominated
MTV Movie Award for Best Fight (with Jackie Chan) Nominated
2001 Kids Choice Awards Favorite Movie Actor Rush Hour 2 Nominated
BET Award Best Actor Nominated
Kids Choice Awards Favorite Male Butt Kicker Nominated
MTV Movie Award Best Fight (with Jackie Chan) Won
Best Comedic Performance Nominated
Best Musical Sequence Nominated
Best On-Screen (with Jackie Chan) Nominated
Teen Choice Award Movie Actor - Comedy Won
Movie: Chemistry (with Jackie Chan) Nominated
2007 People's Choice Award Favorite On-Screen Match-up (with Jackie Chan) Rush Hour 3 Nominated
MTV Movie Award Best Fight (with Jackie Chan and Sun Mingming) Nominated
2012 Broadcast Film Critics Association Best Cast Silver Linings Playbook Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated


  1. ^ Stated on African American Lives, 2006
  2. ^ a b Gates, Henry Louis Jr. (January 2009). In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary Blacks Reclaimed Their Past. Crown. p. 397. ISBN 978-0-307-38240-5.
  3. ^ "Bio - Chris Tucker Actor, Comedian, Humanitarian Chris Tucker". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved February 7, 2016.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link) Official Bio
  4. ^ "Tucker's early life". Archived from the original on March 29, 2019.
  5. ^ Chris Tucker Biography – Yahoo! Movies. Archived October 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Chris Tucker Biography Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Chris Tucker gets serious about the film industry". March 10, 2014. Archived from the original on October 11, 2023. Retrieved October 5, 2022.
  8. ^ Abbey, C. D., ed. (2001). Biography today: Profiles of people of interest to young readers. Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics.
  9. ^ Oblender, D. G.; Phelps, S.; Rubiner, J.; Pendergast, S. (2008). "Chris Tucker". Contemporary Black Biography. 62: 144–147.
  10. ^ mirobo1 Added (August 31, 2006). "Def Comedy Jam on". Archived from the original on September 29, 2009. Retrieved January 11, 2011.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ a b Chris Tucker at IMDb
  12. ^ Who's Who in America (68th ed.). Berkeley Heights, NJ: Marquis Who's Who. 2013.
  13. ^ Grossberg, Josh. "Chris Tucker's Taxing Situation" Archived July 31, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, E! News, July 28, 2010
  14. ^ "Chris Tucker signs onto Brett Ratner's Rush Hour 3" Archived August 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., May 5, 2005. Retrieved August 5, 2007.
  15. ^ "Ice Cube reveals Chris Tucker turned down $12M for role in 'Friday' sequel". December 30, 2021. Retrieved December 31, 2021.
  16. ^ You Rock My World at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
  17. ^ Giles, Jeff. "Chris Tucker, Brett Ratner Reteam for Sinatra" Archived November 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Rotten Tomatoes, September 20, 2007.
  18. ^ Sneider, Jeff (September 6, 2011). "Chris Tucker break ends in 'Silver Linings'".
  19. ^ Nedra Pickler (January 22, 2008). "Obama sees rock-star power in action". Yahoo! News. Retrieved January 28, 2008.[dead link]
  20. ^ Candace Newson (January 26, 2008). "On the trail: Stars talk politics, endorsements as they 'stand for change' with Obama". The Times and Democrat. Retrieved January 28, 2008.
  21. ^ America, Good Morning. "Prince Jackson to host annual 'Thriller' costume party at Jackson family estate". Good Morning America.
  22. ^ "Prince Jackson Says 'So Much' of Father Michael Remains 'in His Music'". Peoplemag.
  23. ^ Falcone, Dana Rose (May 21, 2019). "Family Night Out! Chris Tucker Brings Lookalike Son to Quentin Tarantino's Cannes Premiere". People.
  24. ^ "Chris Tucker finishes Michael Jordan film in return to Strip". July 8, 2022.
  25. ^ Richard Willing (February 1, 2006). "DNA rewrites history for African-Americans". USA Today. Retrieved August 5, 2008.
  26. ^ "African Ancestry & DNA Tests: The Results" Archived March 6, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  27. ^ "Chris Tucker and Brett Ratner". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on December 31, 2008.
  28. ^ African Ancestry & DNA Tests Archived December 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  29. ^ Oprah, Bishop Jakes, Chris Tucker Trace Roots On PBS Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. January 31, 2006. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  30. ^ Duke, Alan (September 1, 2014). "Chris Tucker settles huge tax bill; poor management blamed for IRS lien". CNN. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  31. ^ Brisco, Elise (November 17, 2021). "'Friday' star Chris Tucker faces lawsuit claiming he owes IRS more than $9 million in taxes". Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  32. ^ MacPherson, Guy (July 23, 2014). "Faith keeps Chris Tucker's comedy clean". The Georgia Straight.
  33. ^ "Epstein's Former Pilot Testifies About Shuttling Clinton, Trump and Spacey". Bloomberg. November 30, 2021. Retrieved April 2, 2023.
  34. ^ "Chris Tucker Live". IMDb.