Kevin Darnell Hart (born July 6, 1979) is an American comedian, actor and producer. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Hart began his career by winning several amateur comedy competitions at clubs throughout New England, culminating in his first real break in 2001 when he was cast by Judd Apatow for a recurring role on the TV series Undeclared. The series lasted only one season, but he soon landed other roles in films such as Paper Soldiers (2002), Scary Movie 3 (2003), Soul Plane (2004), In the Mix (2005), and Little Fockers (2010).
Hart in March 2014
|Birth name||Kevin Darnell Hart|
|Born||July 6, 1979|
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
(m. 2003; div. 2011)
Eniko Parrish (m. 2016)
Hart's comedic reputation continued to grow with the release of his first stand-up album, I'm a Grown Little Man (2008), and performances in the films Think Like a Man (2012), Grudge Match (2013), Ride Along (2014) and its sequel Ride Along 2 (2016), About Last Night (2014), Get Hard (2015), Central Intelligence (2016), The Secret Life of Pets (2016), Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017), and Night School (2018).
He also released four more comedy albums, Seriously Funny in 2010, Laugh at My Pain in 2011, Let Me Explain in 2013, and What Now? in 2016. In 2015, Time Magazine named Hart one of the 100 most influential people in the world on the annual Time 100 list. He starred as himself in the lead role of Real Husbands of Hollywood.
Hart was born on July 6, 1979, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was raised in a single-parent household by his mother, Nancy Hart, who was a systems analyst for the Office of Student Registration and Financial Services at University of Pennsylvania. He has one older brother, Robert. His father, Henry Witherspoon, a cocaine addict, was in and out of jail throughout most of Kevin's childhood, and Kevin used humor as a way to cope with his troubled family life.
After graduating from George Washington High School, Hart briefly attended the Community College of Philadelphia and moved to New York City. He then moved to Brockton, Massachusetts, and found work as a shoe salesman. He began pursuing a career in stand-up comedy after performing at an amateur night at a club in Philadelphia.
Hart's first gig was at The Laff House in Philadelphia under the name of Lil Kev, which did not go well. His career suffered a slow start, as he was booed off stage several times, once even having a piece of chicken thrown at him. After those initial unsuccessful shows, Hart began entering comedy competitions throughout Massachusetts and audience receptions of his performances eventually improved.
It took time for Hart to develop a unique comedic style. After an early period of attempting to imitate comedians like Chris Tucker, he found his own rhythm by delving into his insecurities and life experiences. "Because of what I do, it has to be an open book," he has said. "But right now this is a book that is being written."
Hart's comedy tours began in 2009 with his act titled I'm a Grown Little Man, followed by Seriously Funny in 2010, Laugh at My Pain in 2011, and Let Me Explain in 2013, the later two of which were also released as features in movie theaters. Hart grossed over $15 million from "Laugh at My Pain", making it one of the year's top-selling comedy tours. Hart also has a game available through iTunes called "Little Jumpman". His Facebook page, Twitter account, and YouTube channel are all connected to and accessible through this app. Most overseas fans of Hart discovered him on YouTube, as well.
On April 9, 2015, Hart embarked on a comedy world tour titled the What Now? Tour at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, which concluded on August 7, 2016, at the Columbus Civic Center in Columbus, Georgia. On July 16, 2015, Universal Pictures announced that Kevin Hart: What Now?, a stand-up comedy film featuring a performance of Kevin Hart's What Now? Tour, would be theatrically released in the United States on October 14, 2016. The show was filmed live on August 30, 2015, in front of 53,000 people, at Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field.
Film and television roles
Hart came to prominence from his guest appearance in Undeclared. He made his film debut in the film Paper Soldiers. Hart then gained further recognition from his other films such as the Scary Movie franchise, Soul Plane, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Death at a Funeral, and Little Fockers. He turned down a role in the 2008 film Tropic Thunder because the character is gay, citing his own "insecurities".
He played Doug in the film The Five-Year Engagement (2012) and appeared in Think Like a Man which was a box office success. He also appeared in the sequel. He had a cameo as himself in This Is the End. In 2013, Hart played a boxing promoter in Grudge Match and appeared in Exit Strategy as Mannequin Head Man. He also appeared in 35 and Ticking.
In 2014, Hart starred as Ben in Ride Along, opposite Ice Cube. The film received generally negative reviews from critics, but was a major box office success. Hart returned in the sequel, Ride Along 2, which was released on January 15, 2016.
In 2013, Hart co-created Real Husbands of Hollywood with Chris Spencer. The show follows Hart along with other married celebrities (each playing a comical fictionalized version of themselves) within the series including: Boris Kodjoe, Nelly, Duane Martin, J.B. Smoove, Nick Cannon, and Robin Thicke. Thicke didn't return for the second season due to his music career, though Hart has stated that the door is open for Thicke to return. The series is intentionally filmed in a style similar to Bravo's The Real Housewives. Episodes often hinge on the "real" Kevin Hart's desperately unsuccessful attempts to climb Hollywood's celebrity social ladder (which always backfire in humiliating ways), and the character's barely-hidden jealousy of his more successful celebrity friends. A sneak peek was shown as a segment during the 2012 BET Awards and the official promo was released in October 2012.
In 2015, Hart starred in the films Get Hard with Will Ferrell and The Wedding Ringer. In 2016, he starred in the movies Central Intelligence with Dwayne Johnson and The Secret Life of Pets In 2017, he starred in the movies Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, in a voice role, and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle with Jack Black, Karen Gillan, and retaming again with Johnson.
In 2018, he produced his first film under his production company HartBeat Productions, Night School. In October 2018, it was announced that through his production company, he has signed a first-look deal with Nickelodeon. Under the deal, Hart and his HartBeat Productions banner will develop and produce live-action, scripted kids content for the network. Hart also has a first-look film deal with Universal Studios. In 2019, Hart's film The Upside, his first headlining role in a drama, was theatrically released. It also starred Bryan Cranston and Nicole Kidman.
As of October 2016, Hart is set to portray Santa Claus in Dashing Through the Snow, a planned 2017 Disney Christmas-themed film. In October 2018, Chris Rock will direct Hart in a movie based on an original idea by the both of them. The film will be written by Black-ish Yamara Taylor and the film will revolve around a stay at home dad who raises the kids while his star CEO wife serves as the breadwinner. The man finds himself in emotional and public turmoil when his wife kicks him to the curb, and they engage in a bitter divorce and custody battle.
Hosting and subsequent controversy
In addition to acting, Hart has also hosted various ceremonies. Hart first hosted the 2011 BET Awards. Hart then hosted the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards. His longtime friend Judd Apatow, the director who gave him his first big on-screen break in the TV series Undeclared, was the one who recommended him for the gig. Hart hopes that this will project him further into a side career as an emcee, stating, "Hopefully after MTV, of course we're talking Emmys, Oscars, whatever." He has hosted three episodes of Saturday Night Live. In 2015, Hart hosted the Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber. In 2016, Hart co-hosted the 2016 MTV Movie Awards with Dwayne Johnson.
On December 4, 2018, Hart was announced as the host of the 91st Academy Awards, but on December 6 he stepped down as host in response to public criticism of several alleged homophobic tweets from 2010 and 2011, including tweets in which he used "gay" and "fag" pejoratively and another in which he said he would break a dollhouse over his son’s head if he were caught playing with it. Hart characterized the protest as non-constructive and stated "If you don’t believe people change, grow as they get older, I don’t know what to tell you". On December 7, he tweeted an apology to the LGBTQ community following criticism that he did not issue one the previous day.
On January 3, 2019, Hart announced he was going to reconsider stepping down as host, after openly lesbian comedian Ellen DeGeneres, who has hosted the Academy Awards multiple times, expressed support for Hart to do so and said she telephoned the Academy to ask if Hart would be able to reverse his decision if he wished and, according to DeGeneres, the Academy said he would be able to do so. On January 8, after a backlash for what was perceived as his insincere apology, Kevin Hart announced that he won't be hosting the Academy Awards.
As Chocolate Droppa, his alias, he signed to Motown Records and released Kevin Hart: What Now? (The Mixtape Presents Chocolate Droppa), the soundtrack to his stand-up film of the same name. He released the singles "Push It On Me" featuring Trey Songz and "Baller Alert" with Migos & T.I.
Kevin and Torrei Hart filed for divorce in February 2010, citing irreconcilable differences. Hart requested joint custody of their two children, a daughter and a son. The divorce was finalized in November 2011.
Hart's relationship with his father improved after the latter recovered from his addiction. Hart said, "My dad said I was supposed to be on drugs. I was like, 'Dad, shut up', but then I thought about it, and it was stupid, but it made sense. He was saying that basically he was my example to never go down that road."
On August 18, 2014, Hart proposed to Eniko Parrish. They married on August 13, 2016, near Santa Barbara, California. Their son was born in 2017. On December 15, 2017, Hart publicly admitted to having cheated on his wife while she was pregnant with their son.
Hart earned an estimated $32.5 million in 2017.
Hart was arrested on April 14, 2013, on suspicion of drunk driving after his black Mercedes nearly collided with a tanker truck on a Southern California freeway. Hart failed a field sobriety test and was booked for misdemeanor DUI. On August 5, 2013, Hart was sentenced to three years of probation after pleading no contest to one count of driving under the influence of alcohol.
|2003||Scary Movie 3||CJ|
|Death of a Dynasty||P-Diddy / Cop 1 / Dance Coach / Hyper Rapper / H. Lector|
|2004||Along Came Polly||Vic|
|Soul Plane||Nashawn Wade|
|2005||The 40-Year-Old Virgin||Smart Tech Customer|
|In The Mix||Busta|
|2006||Scary Movie 4||CJ|
|The Last Stand||F Stop/G Spot|
|2008||Fool's Gold||Bigg Bunny|
|Meet Dave||Number 17|
|Drillbit Taylor||Pawn Shop Dealer|
|2009||Not Easily Broken||Tree|
|2010||Something Like a Business||JoJo|
|Death at a Funeral||Brian|
|Little Fockers||Nurse Louis|
|2011||35 and Ticking||Cleavon|
|Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain||Himself||Stand-up film|
|Let Go||Kris Styles|
|2012||The Five-Year Engagement||Doug|
|Think Like a Man||Cedric|
|Exit Strategy||Mannequin Head Man|
|2013||This Is the End||Kevin Hart|
|Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain||Himself||Stand-up film|
|Grudge Match||Dante Slate, Jr.|
|2014||Ride Along||Ben Barber|
|About Last Night||Bernie|
|Think Like a Man Too||Cedric|
|School Dance||OG Pretty Lil' Thug||Uncredited role|
|2015||The Wedding Ringer||Jimmy Callahan/Bic Mitchum|
|Get Hard||Darnell Lewis|
|2016||Ride Along 2||Ben Barber|
|Central Intelligence||Calvin Joyner|
|The Secret Life of Pets||Snowball (voice)|
|Kevin Hart: What Now?||Himself||Stand-up film|
|2017||Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie||George Beard (voice)||Also songwriter for "Saturday"|
|Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle||Franklin "Mouse" Finbar (Anthony "Fridge" Johnson)|
|2018||Night School||Teddy Walker||Also producer and writer|
|2019||The Secret Life of Pets 2||Snowball (voice)||In production|
|2004||The Big House||Kevin||6 episodes|
|Comedy Central Presents||Himself||Stand-up special|
|2005||Barbershop||James Ricky||3 episodes|
|2005–2006||Jake In Progress||Nugget Dawson||2 episodes|
|2006||Help Me Help You||Kevin||Episode: "Raging Bill"|
|Love, Inc.||James||2 episodes|
|2007||All of Us||Greg||Episode: "The B-R-E-A-K-U-P"|
|Wild 'n Out||Various||21 episodes|
|2009||Party Down||Dro Grizzle||Episode: "Taylor Stiltskin Sweet Sixteen"|
|Kröd Mändoon and The Flaming Sword of Fire||Zezelryck||6 episodes|
|Kevin Hart: I'm a Grown Little Man||Himself||Stand-up special|
|2010||Kevin Hart: Seriously Funny||Himself||Stand-up special|
|2011–2012||Modern Family||Andre||2 episodes|
|2011||BET Awards 2011||Himself (host)||TV special|
|2012||Workaholics||Kevin||Episode: "To Kill a Chupacabraj"|
|2012 MTV Video Music Awards||Himself (host)||TV special|
|2013–2016||Real Husbands of Hollywood||Himself||60 episodes; also co-creator, writer, executive producer|
|2013||Second Generation Wayans||Himself||Episode: "The Arrival"|
|2013–2017||Saturday Night Live||Himself (host)||3 episodes|
|2015||Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber||Himself (host)||TV special|
|2016||2016 MTV Movie Awards||Himself (co-host)||TV special|
|2018||TKO: Total Knock Out||Himself (host)||10 episodes; also executive producer|
|2004||"Lean Back"||Terror Squad featuring Fat Joe and Remy Ma||Himself|
|2011||"Booty Wurk (One Cheek at a Time)"||T-Pain|
|2016||"Push it On Me"||Trey Songz||Chocolate Droppa|
|2018||"Kevin's Heart"||J. Cole||Himself|
Awards and nominations
- "Death: Nancy Hart, Student Registration". University of Pennsylvania Almanac. 53 (22). February 13, 2007. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- "Kevin Hart Biography: Actor, Comedian (1969–)". Biography.com (FYI / A&E Networks. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- "Kevin Hart: The World's 100 Most Influential People". Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Cummings, Jozen. "Career Breakdown: Kevin Hart's Long, Complicated, Hit-and-Miss-and-Hit-Again Path to Stardom". Grantland.com (ESPN) Internet Ventures. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Itzkoff, Dave (August 30, 2012). "Kevin Hart Learns to Tell the Truth". The New York Times.
- Kevin Hart: Comically independent[dead link]
- "Kevin Hart returns to Community College of Philadelphia: "I don't got no student loans!"". Billypenn.com. December 9, 2014. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
- Johnson, Keosha. "TheGrio's 100: Kevin Hart, Philly comedian sees the humor in life experiences". TheGrio.com. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- "About Kevin Hart". Comedy Central. Archived from the original on October 6, 2012. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
- Itzkoff, Dave (October 18, 2012). "Life Sends Lemons? Make Comedy". The New York Times. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
- Gomez, Luis (October 18, 2012). "Interview: Kevin Hart not shy about past flubs". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- "About Kevin Hart". Comedy Central. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Puig, Claudia (July 2, 2013). "Kevin Hart's 'Let Me Explain' is too heavy on the 'me'". USA Today. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Dave McNary (May 6, 2015). "'Kevin Hart: What Now' Release Date Set for Oct. 14, 2016". Variety. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
- "Kevin Hart To Make History When He Headlines Lincoln Financial Field « CBS Philly". Philadelphia.cbslocal.com. February 16, 2015. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
- Kevin Hart: WHAT NOW TOUR (August 30, 2015). "Kevin Hart: WHAT NOW TOUR at Lincoln Financial Field on Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:00 PM EDT — Live Nation". Livenation.com. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
- "Kevin Hart Won't Play A Gay Role Because 'Of What People Are Going To Think' | HuffPost". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
- Fleming Jr, Mike (July 11, 2012). "'Ride Along' Detours To Universal As Kevin Hart And Ice Cube Vehicle". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- "Ride Along". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- "Weekend Box Office Results for January 17-20, 2014". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
- Fleming Jr, Mike (April 23, 2013). "Sequels On Tap For 'The Heat' And 'Ride Along'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Kroll, Justin (March 13, 2014). "'Ride Along 2' to Bow on Martin Luther King Weekend 2016". Variety. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- "Kevin Hart Explains Why Robin Thicke Left 'Real Husbands'". BlackAmericaWeb.com. Retrieved November 7, 2017. (Archive link requires scrolldown.)
- Berkshire, Geoff. "BET's 'Real Husbands of Hollywood' with Nick Cannon, 'Second Generation Wayans' get January premieres". zap2it. Archived from the original on January 2, 2013. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- "Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart spotted filming 'Central Intelligence' in Massachusetts". onlocationvacations.com. May 5, 2015. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
- Mike Fleming Jr. "Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet & Kevin Hart To Voice Animated 'Pets' Movie – Deadline". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
- DreamWorks Animation (January 21, 2014). "Captain Underpants Saves The Day By Recruiting Top Comedy Talent To Voice New DreamWorks Animation Film" (Press release). PR Newswire. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
- Kroll, Justin (April 15, 2016). "Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson Circling 'Jumanji' Reimagining". Variety. Penske Business Media. Archived from the original on April 24, 2016. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
- Pedersen, Erik (April 14, 2017). "'Night School' Release Date: Kevin Hart Comedy Set For Fall 2018 From Universal". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 16, 2017.
- Otterson, Joe (October 11, 2018). "Kevin Hart Inks First-Look Deal With Nickelodeon (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Penske Business Media. Archived from the original on October 24, 2018. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
- Kevin Jagernauth (October 1, 2014). "Casting: Colin Firth & Kevin Hart Are 'Intouchables', Quv". The Playlist. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
- Fleming Jr., Mike (April 25, 2018). "Harrison Ford Takes First Animated Role, In Illumination's 'The Secret Life Of Pets 2'". Deadline. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
- Harp, Justin (April 24, 2018). "Dwayne Johnson's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle sequel drops first teaser as US release date is confirmed". Digital Spy.
- Kit, Borys (October 26, 2016). "Kevin Hart in Talks to Play Santa Claus in Disney's 'Dashing Through the Snow' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Coggan, Devan (October 26, 2016). "Kevin Hart to play Santa in Disney comedy Dashing Through the Snow". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Mike Fleming Jr (October 26, 2018). "Chris Rock To Direct Kevin Hart In Will Packer-Produced Universal Comedy 'Co-Parenting'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
- Bark, Theo (June 8, 2011). "Patti LaBelle to Receive BET's Lifetime Achievement Award". TheBoombox.com (AOL). Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Montgomery, James (May 15, 2012). "2012 Video Music Awards To Take Over Staples Center Show will air live from Los Angeles on Thursday, September 6, at 8 p.m. ET/PT". MTV News. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Weiner, Jonah (May 31, 2012). "VMA 2012 Host Kevin Hart Is Judd Apatow's Favorite Vertically Challenged Comic". Rolling Stone (Rolling Stone's Big Issue).
- Kondolojy, Amanda (March 3, 2013). "'Saturday Night Live' With Kevin Hart and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Up From Last New Episode". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (January 18, 2015). "'Saturday Night Live' With Host Kevin Hart and Musical Guest Sia Flat With Last Original". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Zumberge, Marianne (March 5, 2015). "Comedy Central's Justin Bieber Roasters to Include Snoop Dogg, Martha Stewart". Variety. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart to Host the 2016 MTV Movie Awards Comingsoon.net Retrieved February 23, 2016.
- Dessem, Matthew (December 4, 2018). "Kevin Hart Will Host the 2019 Academy Awards". Slate. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
- Visser, Nick (December 7, 2018). "Kevin Hart Says He's Stepped Down From Oscar Hosting Gig Amid Controversy Over Old Tweets". Huffington Post. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
- Blackmon, Michael (December 6, 2018). "Kevin Hart Is Deleting Old Anti-Gay Tweets After Being Announced As Oscars Host". BuzzfeedNews. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
- Donnelly, Matt (December 6, 2018). "Kevin Hart Responds to Old Homophobic Tweets: 'I'm in Love With The Man That I Am Becoming'". Variety. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
- "Kevin Hart steps down from hosting Oscars to avoid 'distraction', apologizes to the LGBTQ community". EW.com. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
- News, A. B. C. (January 4, 2019). "Kevin Hart rethinking quitting Oscars after 'raw' Ellen interview". ABC News. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
- "Stream Kevin 'Chocolate Droppa' Hart's 'What Now? (The Mixtape)'". Rap-Up. October 14, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Goddard, Kevin (September 30, 2016). "Kevin Hart signs to Motown records". Hotnewhiphop. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- "How Kevin Hart Became an Unexpected Underwear Model (Exclusive)". Entertainment Tonight. November 6, 2017. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- McCarthy, Sean L. (January 16, 2013). "5 Comedians Who Inspired Kevin Hart, In His Own Words". TheComicsComic.com. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
- Kevin Hart [@KevinHart4real] (March 24, 2017). "Richard Pryor...Eddie Murphy....Dave Chapelle" (Tweet). Retrieved February 15, 2018 – via Twitter.
- "Kevin Hart Divorce: Talks Split On 'The Rosie Show'". HuffPost. January 20, 2012. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Sangweni, Yolanda (February 3, 2014). "Photo Fab: Kevin Hart Takes Daughter to First Father-Daughter Dance". Essence. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- "Kevin Hart: I'm Divorced, And Still Rich!". TMZ.com. March 22, 2013. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Landrum, Jonathan (September 9, 2011). "Kevin Hart Pokes Fun at His Life in Standup Movie". Backstage. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- "Kevin Hart Engaged to Eniko Parrish – Watch the Sweet Proposal". People. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Fisher, Kendall; Kitnick, Sara (August 15, 2016). "Kevin Hart Marries Eniko Parrish: Get the Details About Their Big Day". E! News. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Petit, Stephanie (November 21, 2017). "Kevin Hart and Wife Eniko Welcome Son Kenzo". People.com. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
- France, Lisa Respers (December 15, 2017). "Kevin Hart spills about cheating on pregnant wife". CNN. Archived from the original on January 11, 2018. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
- O'Malley Greenburg, Zack (June 12, 2017). "Full List: The World's Highest-Paid Celebrities 2017". Forbes. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
- "Drunken driving arrest a 'wake-up' call, comedian Kevin Hart says". CNN. April 15, 2013. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- "Comedian Kevin Hart Pleads No Contest To DUI". CBS Los Angeles. August 5, 2013. Retrieved November 7, 2017.