Will Smith's father has died.

The 48-year-old actor's ex-wife Sheree Fletcher - who he was married to from 1992 to 1995 - has revealed the star's dad, Willard Carroll Smith, has sadly passed away.

Posting a picture of Will and his father with his son Trey, 23, who he has with Sheree, she wrote on Instagram: "We're gonna miss you Daddio! You lived & played by your own rules...you truly were 1 of a kind! (sic)"

Will - who also has kids Jaden, 18, and Willow, 16, with wife Jada Pinkett Smith - is yet to confirm the news.

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Willard was a refrigeration engineer and a former member of the US Air Force.

In the book Will Smith: A Biography, it claims Will's dad put him off doing drugs when he was younger by driving him to tough neighbourhoods in Philadelphia to show him what it was like for people on such substances.

Trey Smith, Willow Smith, Jaden Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith. Photo / AP
Trey Smith, Willow Smith, Jaden Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith. Photo / AP

On the fear of his father if he ever took drugs, he is quoted as saying: "I felt my father would kill me. Literally."

Will has also previously praised his dad as a "steady and positive figure" in his life.

He once said: "Dad was tough but not tyrannical.

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"He kept me in line. He'd get this look that said, 'One more step, Will, and it'll get ugly.

"He was an independent businessman - he set up refrigeration in supermarkets - and he always provided for us. He's a steady and positive figure in my life."