The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a sitcom which was produced between 1990 and 1996 and has a total of six seasons. The series centers on young "Will" (Will Smith), who moves from West Philadelphia to the fancy neighborhood of Bel-Air after getting in a fight with the wrong people. His unconventional lifestyle often collides with that of his upper-class relatives, who've taken him in: the "Banks" family.
Will Smith played a fictionalized version of himself, calling himself the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air". He a teenager from the hood of West Philadelphia, who takes life easy and is not too worried about the future - the complete opposite of his noble and rich relatives.
Will Smith is one of the most popular actors in Hollywood today, regularly on top of the box office charts with romantic comedies, but also action movies. After his 2016 appearance in Suicide Squad, his most recent project is the Netflix original film Bright.
James Avery played Will Smiths rich uncle "Phil", the head of the "Banks" family, who have taken in the young "Will" and let him live with them in their huge mansion. The "TV Guide" voted his character one of the "50 Best TV dads of All Time".
James Avery died in December 2013 from complications during heart surgery. He was 68 years old. After The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air he was in many movies and TV series, including a great role in The Closer from 2005 until 2007.
With the start of season three, Daphne Maxwell Reid started playing "Vivian Banks", the wife of "Phil" and "Will's" aunt. She took over the role from Janet Hubert-Whitten, who had to leave the cast due to disputes with Will Smith.
After The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Daphne starred in the television series Crossing Jordan and Eve and also has been working as a presenter for PBS since 2014.
Tatyana Ali played will's cousin "Ashley Banks". She became famous at a very young age and was a child TV star, even before her role in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, because of her appearances in Sesame Street.
But Tatyana is not only an exceptionally gifted actress, but also a great singer. After she had already had frequent little musical appearances in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Tatyana released her successful debut album in 1999. Nowadays Tatyana Ali is still working as an actress and also as a singer – both quite successfully! The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was truly a great stepping-stone for her.
What would The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air be without the weird and eager cousin "Carlton Banks“, played by the one and only Alfonso Ribeiro."Carlton“ is a spoiled, rich boy who comes from a good family. Most of all, his so-called "Carlton Dance“ is truly legendary.
During the last years, Alfonso Ribeiro presented several game shows and in 2013 he participated on the British show I‘m a Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here. In 2014, he even won the 19th season of Dancing with the Stars. He has two sons and a daughter from two previous relationships.
Karyn Parsons played Will Smith's cousin "Hilary Banks". She‘s at least as spoiled as her brother "Carlton“. But in contrast to her (mostly) brilliant brother, "Hilary“ has often been portrayed as rather naive.
Her biggest gig after "Fresh Prince" was probably a role in Melrose Place, but Karyn Parsons was also featured in several other TV series. Today. Karyn is married to the director Alexandre Rockwell and has a daughter and a son. Since 2002, Parsons has gradually been withdrawing from show business...
This guy generated a whole lot of laughter! Joseph Marcell portrayed "Geoffrey", the relentlessly honest but lovable butler of the "Banks" family. Marcell was born at the Caribbean island St. Lucia and moved to England when he was only nine years old. That‘s when his acting career started at the theatre...
Today, Joseph Marcell is working most of all at London theatres again. During the past few years he also featured in TV series like Death in Paradise and EastEnders. In 2015, Marcell even had a part in the film drama Hero.
The fourth season was the start for Ross Bagley as "Nicky Banks", the youngest member of the "Banks" family in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. In 1996, he joined Will Smith again and featured in the blockbuster Independence Day as his son...
When The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was finished, it got pretty silent and we didn't hear from him for a while. Ross Bagley went to the University of California, to pursue film studies. The winner of three Young Artist Awards, Ross Bagley, is still acting every now and then in TV series like Judging Amy or movies like Gnome Alone.
Did you know that Will Smith's future wife Jada Pinkett-Smith was supposed to take the role of "Will's" girlfriend "Lisa"? However, she did not get the part, because she was too small. Go to the next picture to see Will and Jada's gorgeous kids...
Jaden Smith (*1998) and Willow Smith (*2000) followed in the footsteps of their famous parents and are pursuing careers in acting and music!