ByKristin Lai, writer at
MP Staff Writer, cinephile and resident Slytherclaw // UCLA Alumna // Follow me on Twitter: kristin_lai
Kristin Lai

Now this is a post that's all about how a television cast looked then and now. And I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there, to tell you how the cast is doing since The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Happy anniversary to the cast and creators of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air! If your show were still on the air today, it would be old enough to vote, drink, and is just one year away from being able to rent a car in California without a co-signer. Exciting times, right?

Will Smith, Will Smith

The little-known actor from Philly was never seen or heard from again after the show ended in 1996. Psyche! Obviously, Will Smith has gone on to do amazing things since the show ended. Back when the show was starting, Will had already established a career in the music industry. Today, he has been nominated in almost every category of entertainment, including 4 Golden Globe nominations, 2 Oscar nominations, and 4 Grammy wins. Recently, it was announced that in the coming years, he would be working on [Hancock 2](movie:34611) and [Bad Boys 3](movie:373066) as well as a number of other films.

Alfonso Ribeiro, Carlton Banks

Before his role as Will's cousin and incredible dancer Carlton Banks, Alfonso Ribeiro had played Alfonso Spears on the show Silver Spoons and had the title role in the Broadway show The Tap Dance Kid. Since The FBoBA ended, Alfonso is known more for his work behind the camera, directing TV shows such as Are We There Yet? and Let's Stay Together. It was just announced earlier this month that he would be one of the celebrities competing on ABC's Dancing With the Stars.

James Avery, Philip Banks

James Avery was everyone's surrogate father in the 90's in his role as Will's uncle and patriarch, Philip Banks. He was also the voice of Shredder in the 1987 TV series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. James went on to have many other roles on TV and the big screen. As of late, he would be most likely recognized for his characters in shows like The Closer and [Grey's Anatomy](series:200746). Sadly, James Avery passed away on December 31, 2013, following complications from open-heart surgery.

Karyn Parsons, Hilary Banks

Karyn Parsons played everyone's favorite foolish fashionista, Hilary Banks. After the show ended, Parsons wrote, directed, and starred in the short-lived sitcom The Lush Life which ran for only one season in 1996, and later starred alongside Denis Leary in 2001 series The Job.

Tatyana Ali, Ashley Banks

Tatyana Ali had played small roles on TV, but became a star after playing the youngest of the Banks siblings. In 1998 she released an album titled Kiss the Sky which went gold. She has recently starred in the show Love That Girl and had a recurring role on the soap opera The Young and the Restless. She can also be seen in the film November Rule which is currently in post-production.

Joseph Marcell, Geoffrey Butler

Joesph Marcell played more than just the Banks' butler. As the sarcastic, snarky Geoffrey, he was an integral member of the family. Since the show went off the air, Joseph has largely been playing roles abroad for the BBC and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Janet Hubert, Vivian Banks #1

Janet played Will's firey Aunt Vivian for the first three seasons only to be replaced due to a feud with Smith and a contract-violating pregnancy. Before The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Hubert performed on Broadway as Tantomile in the original cast of Cats. After being recast, she had recurring roles on the show One Life to Live and a guest appearance on House of Payne in 2011.

Daphne Reid, Vivian Banks #2

Prior to replacing Janet Hubert in 1993, the former model was known for starring in the show Frank's Place which ran in the late 80's. From 2003 to 2006, Daphne played JT's mother on the show Eve and today plays Juanita on Let's Stay Together. Daphne and her husband currently own and run the production studio New Millennium Studios in Virginia.

Ross Bagley, Nicky Banks

Ross was only on the FPoBA for two years, but I'll be damned if he wasn't just the cutest kid on TV! I just remember when Uncle Phil killed Nicky's rabbit by sitting on it. He handled death much better than I would have. He was one smart kid. He also played Buckwheat in the 1994 film adaptation of The Little Rascals and played Dylan in Independence Day (1996). Ross currently has 3 post-production titles to his name for 2014.

Jeffrey Townes, a.k.a. DJ Jazzy Jeff, Jazz

The cheese to Will's mac, the jelly to his peanut butter, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith had been friends and collaborators since 1985. The two created several gold and platinum albums as DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. Five years after they met, Jeffrey took on the role of Will's best friend, and Uncle Phil's source of torment, Jazz on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Jeffrey is now better known as a producer. And since 2011, he has been working with the rapper Mac Miller.

So that about wraps it up! It's crazy to think that The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air has been off the air for a whole 18 years. This scene still gets me every time!

What was your favorite Fresh Prince of Bel-Air moment? Let me know in the comments!


Latest from our Creators