Born James Todd Smith on Long Island, New York, on January 14, 1968, LL Cool J is a nickname that stands for "Ladies Love Cool James." LL Cool J signed to fledgling hip-hop label Def Jam Records in 1984. After a string of hits—included on albums like Bigger and Deffer, Walking with a Panther, Mama Said Knock You Out, 14 Shots to the Dome, and Mr. Smith—LL turned to acting, appearing in movies like BAPS, Halloween H2O and Any Given Sunday. In 2009, he began his run on the popular investigative series NCIS: Los Angeles. LL Cool J married wife Simone in 1995, and they have four children together.