The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast now: What happened to the stars of the '90s TV show?

14 July 2021, 08:54

Here's where the cast of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is now
Here's where the cast of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is now. Picture: Alamy

By Naomi Bartram

Where are Alfonso Ribeiro, Joseph Marcell and Tatyana Ali now? Find out everything about The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air stars...

We can hardly believe it’s been more than 30 years since the first episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air aired.

The '90s sitcom ran from 1990-96 and starred a then-20-year-old Will Smith as a teenager from a tough neighbourhood in West Philadelphia.

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Fearing for his safety, his mum sends him to live with their wealthy relatives in Bel-Air, California.

As well as making us howl with laughter, the show also produced some of America’s best loved actors and actresses.

But where are the cast of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air now? Here’s what we know…

Will Smith (himself)

Will Smith starred in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from 1990-96
Will Smith starred in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from 1990-96. Picture: Alamy

We all know Will Smith has become a huge Hollywood star since landing his breakthrough TV role on the NBC sitcom.

His credits include Men in Black, The Pursuit of Happiness, I Am Legend and the recent live action remake of Aladdin.

Will has been happily married to actress, Jada Pinkett Smith, since 1997 and they share two children, Jaden and Willow.

Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton Banks)

Alfonso Ribeiro played Carlton Banks
Alfonso Ribeiro played Carlton Banks. Picture: Alamy

Carlton has become an icon thanks to his dance to Tom JonesIt’s Not Unusual, but actor Alfonso Ribeiro has gone on to star in plenty of TV shows since playing Will’s cousin.

He later hosted game shows Catch 21 and Spell-Mageddon, as well as taking part in I'm a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here.

The star also took part in Dancing with the Stars and won season 19 with his partner Witney Carson, before being a guest judge on Strictly Come Dancing.

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Karyn Parsons (Hilary Banks)

Karyn Parsons played Hilary Banks
Karyn Parsons played Hilary Banks. Picture: Alamy

After leaving the show, Karyn Parsons went on to bag roles in TV shows such as Gulliver's Travels, Melrose Place and The Job.

She hasn’t actually been on our screens since 2002, but Karyn now runs her own business called Sweet Blackberry, which shares stories of African-American achievement to children through illustrative film.

The star has over 305k followers on Instagram and recently shared a throwback photo of her time on Fresh Prince.

Tatyana Ali (Ashley Banks)

Tatyana Ali played Ashley Banks
Tatyana Ali played Ashley Banks. Picture: Alamy

Tatyana Ali first shot onto our screens as Will's youngest cousin who looks up to him as a big brother.

She has continued acting since the '90s and her credits include The Young and the Restless, Love That Girl! and Second Generation Wayans.

As a successful musician, Tatyana also has more than 850k followers on Instagram and regularly shares videos of herself singing.

Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey)

Joseph Marcell played Geoffrey
Joseph Marcell played Geoffrey. Picture: Alamy

The Banks family's witty butler Geoffrey was played by English actor Joseph Marcell.

He went on to appear in films such as Much Ado About Nothing and That Samba Thing.

The actor had a role in the CBS series The Bold and the Beautiful and is also a longtime Shakespearean actor and board member of Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in London.

James Avery (Philip Banks)

James Avery played Philip Banks
James Avery played Philip Banks. Picture: Alamy

The late James Avery starred as the patriarch of the Banks family and Will's lovable uncle.

After his role in the sitcom, Avery went on to appear in films such as Dancing in September, Dr. Dolittle 2, Raise Your Voice and Who's Your Caddy?.

When it comes to TV work, James also appeared in episodes of shows like That '70s Show, That's So Raven, My Wife and Kids, Grey's Anatomy and The Young and the Restless.

2014's Wish I Was Here was the last film James ever made before he passed away in December 2013 at the age of 68 due to complications of open heart surgery.

Janet Hubert (Aunt Vivian)

Janet Hubert played Aunt Vivian
Janet Hubert played Aunt Vivian. Picture: Alamy

Janet Hubert was the first actress to play the role of Aunt Vivian from 1990 to 1993.

After leaving the show following season three, Janet went on to have roles in Gilmore Girls, The Bernie Mac Show, One Life to Live and The Job.

She now describes herself as an ‘activist and artist’, who regularly speaks out on social issues.

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Daphne Maxwell Reid (Aunt Vivian)

Daphne Maxwell Reid played Aunt Vivian
Daphne Maxwell Reid played Aunt Vivian. Picture: Alamy

Daphne Maxwell Reid replaced Hubert from 1993-1996.

She has since had roles on Jacqueline and Jilly, Eve and Let’s Stay Together.

Daphne has also guest starred on Sister, Sister and The Cosby Show and appeared in films including Harriet and Alley Cats Strike.

Jeffrey Allen Townes (DJ Jazzy Jeff)

Jeffrey Allen Townes played DJ Jazzy Jeff
Jeffrey Allen Townes played DJ Jazzy Jeff. Picture: Alamy

Before starring on the Fresh Prince, Jeffrey was one half of the music duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, along with his best friend Will Smith.

The pair actually won two Grammy awards for their hits ‘Parents Just Don't Understand’ and ‘Summertime’.

Jeffrey has continued to work on his music and released several EPs over the years including LRG Life Colours in 2012.

Nia Long (Lisa Wilkes)

Nia Long played Lisa Wilkes
Nia Long played Lisa Wilkes. Picture: Alamy

Nia Long played Will's girlfriend from 1994-1995 and continued her acting career after the show.

Film fans may recognise her from Friday and Big Momma's House, while she has also had roles in House of Lies and The Cleveland Show.

She has also starred in NCIS: Los Angeles. Third Watch and Empire.

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Ross Bagley (Nicky Banks)

Ross Bagley played Nicky Banks
Ross Bagley played Nicky Banks. Picture: Alamy/Getty Images

Ross Bagley was just six years old when he starred as the youngest Banks sibling.

Bagley went on to appear in films such as Independence Day and Dead Ringer and also had guest roles on Providence and Judging Amy.

The star graduated from California State University at Northridge with a degree in cinema and television arts, before landing an internship at Will Smith’s production company.