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‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ Cast: Where Are They Now?

From Will Smith to Alfonso Ribeiro, see where the stars ended up. 


From 1990 to 1996, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast captured the hearts of audiences with its blend of humor, heart and social commentary. Created by Andy and Susan Borowitz, the series was a collaborative effort between NBC Productions and Quincy Jones Entertainment.

At its core, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air revolved around a street-smart teenager from West Philadelphia (Will Smith) who is sent to live with his wealthy relatives in their Bel-Air mansion, leading to clashes of culture, identity and family dynamics. If you aren’t familiar with the show, simply watch the catchy intro, which most kids from the 1990s still can sing by heart:

Here we look at The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast and where they are now.

Will Smith as Will Smith, aka The Fresh Prince

Will Smith as Will Smith, aka The Fresh Prince (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Cast)
1996/;Tristan Fewings / Stringer/Getty

Before he was an actor, Will Smith got his start as a rapper. Calling himself the Fresh Prince, he, along with DJ Jazzy Jeff, won a Grammy for their song “Parents Just Don’t Understand” He then landed his own show, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air where he played a fictional version of himself.

Ironically, he made a Storytime vlog on his YouTube channel about the real reason he did the show: because he was broke and owed money to the IRS. After his initial musical success, his second album flopped.

Smith said, “It was a tragedy, it went, like, double plastic. I had spent all my money and I didn’t forget but I didn’t pay the IRS. In my mind, I wasn’t trying to avoid taxes, I was just like ‘Ah, damn, they need their money.’ The IRS took all that stuff, so I was like, broke, broke, broke. Being famous and broke is a s— combination because you’re still famous and people recognize you but they recognize you while you sitting next to them on the bus.”

Fortunately, Smith was introduced to Quincy Jones who thought he’d be great on his own show. And the rest is history. Smith paid the IRS and his acting career took off. H

e starred in the Bad Boys franchise, Independence Day (1996) and Men In Black (1997) before getting his first Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Muhammad Ali in the biopic Ali (2002). His second Oscar nod came in 2007’s The Pursuit of Happyness. Smith’s other film leads include Hitch (2005), I Am Legend (2007), and Aladdin (2019).

He finally won the Oscar for his role playing Richard Williams in the movie King Richard. Of course, everyone remembers the slap Smith gave Chris Rock during the awards show which resulted in a ten-year Oscar ban for Smith.

Most recently, Smith has been a producer on both movies and TV shows with his most recent production credit 2023’s African Queens: Njinga.

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Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton Banks: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast

Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton Banks
1996/;Gregg DeGuire / Stringer/Getty

Who didn’t love Will’s cousin, the preppy, nerdy and sweetly uptight Carlton Banks, played by Alfonso Ribeiro. We can still remember his famous dance move—“the Carlton.” After Fresh Prince, Ribeiro went on to star in another show, In the House, alongside LL Cool J.

From there he went on to compete on Dancing with the Stars with partner Witney Carson. In 2015, Ribiero became the host of America’s Funniest Home Videos, and he continued to play host on several shows including Catch 21, Spell-Mageddon and Dance 360. 

In his personal life, Ribeiro is married and has four children.

James Avery as Uncle Phil

James Avery as Uncle Phil (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Cast)
1996/2007; Mathew Imaging / Contributor/Getty

One of the most-loved characters on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast was Philip Banks (James Avery), affectionately known as Uncle Phil, a stern yet loving patriarch of the Banks family who serves as a father figure to Will.

After Fresh Prince, Avery continued to act, playing Judge Michael Conover on L.A. Law; Steve Yeager in The Brady Bunch Movie; and Dr. Crippen on The Closer. He also did a lot of voice work including playing Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Haroud Hazi Bin in Aladdin.

Avery passed away in 2013 from complications of open-heart surgery. He was 68.

Janet Hubert as Aunt Vivian: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast

Janet Hubert as Aunt Vivian
1996/2023;Michael Loccisano / Staff/Getty

The energetic Aunt Vivian was played by Janet Hubert. However, Hubert left after three seasons in part because of challenges between her and her co-star Will Smith.

She told People that they resolved their differences years later, saying “He was in a place, and I was in a place, we were both in a bad place. When you’re both in a bad place and there’s no communication, you have to talk. So it’s been wonderful, it’s been lovely to have him back in my sphere.”

After she left Fresh prince of Bel-Air cast, she was a regular on several shows including One Life to Live, The Last O.G., Love Life, and General Hospital. She also appeared in the 2024 movie Snatched.

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Karyn Parsons as Hilary Banks

Karyn Parsons as Hilary Banks (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Cast)
1996/2023; Roy Rochlin / Stringer/Getty

Hilary Banks, played by Karyn Parsons, was Will’s rich and always beautifully-dressed cousin. In addition to her TV work, Parsons was also in the movies Class Act (1992) Major Payne (1995) and Mixing Nia (1998).

After Fresh Prince, she continued to act in TV and had appearances on several shows including Lush Life, Melrose Place and The Job. She most recently was in 2020’s Sweet Thing.

In addition to acting, Parsons also published a book How High the Moon and started the non-profit Sweet Blackberry.

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Tatyana Ali as Ashley Banks: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast

Tatyana Ali as Ashley Banks
1996/;Leon Bennett / Stringer/Getty

Tatyana Ali played Ashley Banks, the youngest Banks child. She quickly became a fan favorite. After the series ended Ali decided to pursue college and she graduated from Harvard in 2002.

After that, Ali continued acting, she had reoccurring roles in series like Buppies, Second Generation Wayans, Love That Girl! and The Young and the Restless.

She also appeared in string of Hallmark movies including Christmas Hotel, Christmas Everlasting and Wrapped Up In Christmas.

Ali also competed on RuPaul’s Secret Celebrity Drag Race and was cheered on by her Fresh Prince “sister” Karyn Parsons. Ali told People, “We always cheer each other on, her with her writing and production and me with my performance stuff. And I’m like, Can we get closer?”

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Joesph Marcell as Geoffrey Butler

Joesph Marcell as Geoffrey Butler (fresh prince of bel-air cast)
1996/; Dave Benett / Contributor/Getty

Caribbean-born actor Joseph Marcell played the beloved and sassy butler, Jeffrey, on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Before that, Marcell appeared in 15 episodes of Empire Road (1978-1979), one episode of The Kit Curran Radio Show (1984) and Cry Freedom (1987).

His more recent works include 26 episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful (2003-2004), Return to Zero (2014), The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019) and 3 episodes of Mammoth in 2024. He is married to Joyce T. Walsh, and they have one child together. 

Daphne Reid as Vivian Banks: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast

Daphne Reid as Vivian Banks: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast
1996/; Unique Nicole / Contributor/Getty

After Hubert left the show in 1993, Daphne Reid took over the role of Vivian Banks, but her version of the character was a housewife, not a literature professor. Prior to that, Reid was in 2 episodes of WKRP in Cincinnati (1980-1982), 1 episode of Cagney & Lacey (1985), 4 episodes of Hill Street Blues (1981-1986) and 22 episodes of Frank’s Place (1987-1988). 

After playing Vivian for three years, Reid worked on Eve (2003-2006), By Grace of Bob (2016), The Business of Christmas (2020), and the Bel-Air reboot (2022-2023). 

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For all things 1990’s, click here!

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