Andy and Susan Borowitz created the Fresh Prince of Bel Air during the 90’s which launched movie star Will Smith’s career after he played a troubled youngster who was finding his way in the world.
From 1990 to 1996, the series aired 148 episodes over six seasons on NBC.
Will Smith starred in the popular sitcom, playing a fictionalized version of himself. Will is a troubled Philadelphia teenager sent to Beverly Hills by his aunt, uncle, and cousins. They did not always see eye-to-eye.
Smith starred alongside James Avery, Janet Hubert (Aunt Vivian), Alfonso Ribeiro(Carlton Banks), KarynParsons (Hilary Banks), Tatyana Al (Ashley Banks), Joseph Marcell and Geoffrey. But where is the Fresh Prince?
While Will was a laugher and a joker during his time on the show, he also had some hard-hitting scenes which saw viewers immediately connect with him.
He became a star after the success of the series and has been a prominent actor in the showbiz world ever since.
The Fresh Prince followed his TV debut with a successful film career. Smith couldn’t have imagined the success of the sitcom. He was desperate to get the role on the show to avoid bankruptcy.
The year the sitcom ended Smith starred in the 1996 film Independence Day, he also starred in Men in Black, Bad Boys and many more blockbusters. Most recently he has starred in Disney’s 2019 Aladdin as the Genie.
The actor, 52 years old, married Jada pinkett in 1997. They met on the set of the show’s 1990. Later this year, they will celebrate 30 Years together.
Jaden 23, and Willow 20, are their two children. Trey Smith was also born in 1992. Smith is Trey Smith’s father.
Alfonso Ribeiro played Will’s cousin, Carlton Banks. He created “the Carlton” – an iconic dance named after his uptight character.
Ribeiro unsuccessfully tried to trademark the Carlton Dance, losing in court against Fortnite maker Epic Games. In 2019, the lawsuit was dropped.
In 2014, Ribeiro competed on Dancing with the Stars with partner Witney Carson proving “the Carlton” wasn’t the only dance move he could do as the pair took home the trophy – but not without at least a little dance from his Carlton repertoire.
Ribeiro became the host of America’s Funniest Home Videos in 2015 and continues to host shows like Catch 21 and Dance 360. He is married to his wife and has four kids.
James Avery played the iconic character of Uncle Phil, a grumpy, yet loveable leader who had high expectations and often clashed with Will.
He was a phenomenal actor and appeared in 15 films. When the series ended, he continued his career within the industry by appearing on The Prince of Egypt, Dr DoLittle 2and That 70s Show.
He voiced Pepper Ann, The Legend of Tarzan, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
He was married to Barbara Avery, and had a stepson, Kevin Waters.
Avery, 68, tragically passed away in December 2013, after complications from heart surgery.
Janet Hubert played Aunt Vivian but departed after allegedly being fired after just three seasons. Will claimed that she was the one who fired her.
The feud appears to be over as Will ended the feud on Red Table Talk.
Hubert appeared on One Life to Life after her stint on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. She also made appearances on Gilmore Girls and NYPD Blue, among others.
As she continues to pursue her acting career, she made her television debut on General Hospital in 2018.
Daphne Maxwell-Reid took over the role after season three of Aunt Vivian after Hubert left the show.
She appeared in 74 episodes on Fresh Prince, and was also the first black woman to cover Glamour magazine’s cover in 1969.
Maxwell-Reid also became the first African American homecoming queen of elite college Northwestern University.
Her photography book Doors was published in 2012 by Maxwell-Reid, who is an accomplished photographer.
Since 1982, she has been married to Tim Reid.
Karyn Parsons played the eldest most spoiled Banks child, Hilary. Parsons went on with Lush Life and The Job After The Fresh Prince, but they were both quickly cancelled.
Parsons took 15 years off from acting. In 2003, she married Alexandrew Rockwell and together they have daughter Lana (and son Nico).
In a slight career overhaul, she recently became a published author releasing a children’s novel, How High the Moon in 2019. Flying Free, her second book was published in December 2020.
Parsons also owns Sweet Blackberry, a production company in Los Angeles.
Tatyana Ali played Ashley Bank in the sitcom series and was just 11 when the show started. Though this was not Ali’s first television appearance as she was on Sesame Street as a six-year-old in 1985.
Ali continued her music career after Fresh Prince and became a major star on Love That Girl and The Young and the Restless.
Ali attended Harvard University where she received a bachelor’s degree in African-American Studies and Government in 2002.
Vaughn Rasberry, a Stanford University professor, was her husband. They have two sons, Edwards (with whom she is married) and Alejandro (with whom they are still together).
English actor Joseph Marcell played Geoffrey the Banks family butler.
Marcell was trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama and Royal Shakespeare Company. He then moved to Hollywood and was cast in the sitcom.
After returning to the UK, he landed roles in EastEnders’ and The Bold as well guest roles on Holby City (and Ratched).
Marcell also landed theatre work in Sam Wanamaker Playhouse’s 2016 production of The Tempest and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre’s 2014 rendition of Kind Lear.
Joyce Marcell was the actor’s wife and they had two children together in 1995.
Jeffrey Allen Townes
Jeffrey Allen Townes played Will best friend Jazz in the Fresh Prince series.
Smith was Townes’ DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince, and he had great success with Townes in music.
Although Smith and Jeff parted ways from their music acts, they have been reunited over the years to continue working together.
Townes won a Grammy in 1989 and established himself a music producer.
He was a part of major acts like Eminem. His 2018 album, M3, was his first solo release.
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