Actor and comedian Chris Tucker came to fame playing Detective James Carter in the Rush Hour film series.
Tucker’s father ran a janitorial business, and to earn money during high school, Tucker worked for his dad at a local Burger King. As he mopped bathroom floors, Tucker had big dreams for himself.
Following his high school graduation, Tucker, who’d already begun dabbling in stand-up comedy, moved to Los Angeles. “I moved at an early age because I figured I’d have nothing to lose, and if it didn’t work out I could just move back,” he later explained.
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.
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. Over the next decade, two sequels were made and released. For Rush Hour 3 (2007), Tucker negotiated an astounding $25 million contract, the highest base salary in film history. But while previous installments of the Rush Hour series had delivered a combined box office take of more than $600 million, Rush Hour 3—reportedly costing more than $140 million to make—failed to deliver like its predecessors.
“The break wasn’t planned—it just happened that way,” Tucker told The New York Times in 2012. “I waited a long time and the right things weren’t coming to me—the roles I was offered weren’t that challenging—so I started trying to develop a bunch of projects for myself.”
But nothing stuck. Compounding matter was that Tucker also had to face severe financial difficulties. Despite his earnings, it was reported around this time that Tucker owed the IRS more than $12 million in back taxes.
In 2011, perhaps owing to the fact that he needed to work again, 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.
Source: The Biography.com website