As Gossip Cop has reported, Ali died last Friday at age 74 after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. A public memorial will be held this Friday at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky. Eight pallbearers will carry the boxing legend’s coffin.
In addition to Smith, Lennox Lewis was also selected, as well as several of Ali’s relatives. Bill Clinton will eulogize the late star, with Billy Crystal and Bryant Gumbel also making speeches. While tickets for the 15,000-seat venue will be open to the public, the entire service will be lived streamed by the Ali Center. A procession will also take place through the streets of Louisville.
Smith memorably portrayed Ali in the 2001 movie Ali. The actor received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for the role, and spent time with the boxer both before and after the production. Last Saturday, one day after Ali’s death, Smith wrote on Facebook, “You shook up the World! My Mentor & My Friend. You changed my Life. Rest in Peace.”
Smith has not commented on being a pallbearer. Gossip Cop will have full coverage of Ali’s funeral on Friday. He and Smith are pictured above in 2003.
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