Then/Now: The Cast of 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'
"Now this is a story all about how" the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" cast turned out.
- "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" was a classic fish-out-of-water sitcom featuring West Philadelphia troublemaking teen Will Smith, who moves to his relatives' uber- rich Bel-Air neighborhood in California. (Photo: NBC)read more
- Will Smith sat on his throne as the Prince of Bel-Air from 1990-1996 on NBC. (Photo: NBC)read more
- Already a bubblegum rap star in the late 80s, "Fresh Prince" Will Smith, 22, joined the cast in 1990 after nearly going bankrupt for his free-spending ways. The show is roughly based off Will's own rags to riches tale. His character, Will, moves from a poor Philadelphia area to the wealthy Bel-Air, California, where he introduces his street-wise ways to his snooty family. (Photo: NBC)read more
- After "Fresh Prince," Will Smith became a mega-star, starring in blockbusters like "Independence Day,""Men in Black," and "Bad Boys." In 2001, he won the Oscar for Best Actor in the boxing legend Muhammad Ali biopic, "Ali." Now 40, Will has been married to actress Jada Pinkett Smith since 1997, and has three children (one from a previous marriage). (Photo: AP)read more
- "It's not unusual" to like Carlton Banks. Alfonso Ribiero, 19, played preppy dork, Carlton, who dreams of attending Princeton like his father. He frequently butts heads with Will, who's much more of a slacker in school, which frustrates uptight Carlton. With his cardigans and button-down shirts, Carlton's dorkiness was perhaps epitomized by his finger-snapping dance to Tom Jones' "It's Not Unusual." Apparently, Carlton had better dance moves than this: here's Alfonso dancing in 1985 to his own dancing instruction video, "Breakin' and Poppin'." (Photo: NBC)read more
- Since "Fresh Prince," Alfonso, 37, has made several guest appearances in music videos such as Will Smith's "Wild Wild West" and Fergie's "Glamorous." He also hosted a few Game Show Network (GSN) programs, such as "Catch 21" and "GSN Live." His next gig is in the new "Soulja Boy Tell 'Em: The Animated Series." (Photo: Reuters)read more
- Tatyana Ali, 11, played younger daughter Ashley Banks, who struggles under the strict guidelines of her father and therefore befriends Will for his rebellious ways. She later grows into quite a trouble-maker herself in high school. (Photo: NBC)read more
- Now 30, Tatyana has grown up from her "Fresh Prince" days, pursuing a musical career much like Will. Her song "Daydreamin'" peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. She is working on her second album, and recently sang with Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas in the song "Yes We Can" for Barack Obama's presidential campaign. (Photo: AP)read more
- She was, like, the total fashionista in Bel-Air. Everyone loved Hilary Banks (played by Karyn Parsons, 24) who, though she was snobby, offered many laughs as the show's airhead older sister. (Photo: NBC)read more
- At 42, Karyn has been acting in comedies like "Major Payne" and "The Ladies Man." She also starred in the short-lived TV show "The Job" in 2001 with Denis Leary. She is currently producing "Sweet Blackberry," a DVD series celebrating unsung black heroes. Remarried in 2003, Karyn has also embraced being a mom to her two young children. (Photo: Essence Magazine)read more
- As Will's formidable guardian, lawyer and judge Uncle Phil, played by James Avery, brought discipline to the Banks house... except when Will was acting up, which was all the time. (Photo: NBC)read more
- Now 60, James Avery was recently ranked #34 among TV Guide's "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" for his portrayal in "Fresh Prince." He has since guest starred in sitcoms like "That '70s Show," "That's So Raven" and "My Wife and Kids." (Photo: "His Good Will" film)read more
- Janet Hubbert-Whitten, 34, played Aunt Vivian on the "Fresh Prince," the level-headed and loving aunt to Will. But that relationship wasn't so amiable in real life. Reports of feuding between Will Smith and Janet Hubbert-Whitten have led to speculation that that was the reason Janet was replaced by a new Aunt Viv in season four. (Photo: NBC)read more
- Now 53, Janet hasn't seemed to forgive Will, claiming he was mean to other actors on the series who "outshone" him. The writers insist it was because she became pregnant in the third season. After her exit on "Fresh Prince," Janet appeared in guest-star roles on "One Life to Live" and "The Bernie Mac Show."read more
- Coming in the fourth season, Daphne Maxwell-Reid, 46, provided audiences a bit of confusion as the new Aunt Viv. It isn't surprising - the two actresses look completely different! (Photo: NBC)read more
- At 61, Daphne lives with her husband of 27 years, Tim, serving on the Board of Visitors for Virginia State University. She recently appeared in a recurring role in UPN sitcom "Eve." Her other claim to fame? She was the first African-American model on the cover of "Glamour" magazine.read more
- Joseph Macell played the show's stereotypical stick-up-his-you-know-what English butler Geoffrey.read more
- Marcell was on the daytime soap "The Bold and the Beautiful" for two years and has since been appearing in primarily in British productions.read more
- DJ Jazzy Jeff was Will Smith's partner in their hit group DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. (They were awarded the first rap Grammy ever in 1989.) He had a recurring role as "Jazz" on the show as well, which featured him mostly being physically thrown out of Smith's new Bel-Air mansion.read more
- Jazzy Jeff has maintained a career as an in-demand rap and hip-hop producer, and continues to also regularly work and perform with Will Smith. The two last performed together in 2008 at the premiere of Smith's movie "Hancock."read more
- Then/Now: The Cast of 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'