Now this is a story all about how these actors' lives got turned upside down. And we'd like to take a minute, just sit right there, we'll tell you how they all fared after leaving Bel-Air. — Kelly Woo, Yahoo! TV
Celebrity Sightings In London - May 23, 2013
When "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" premiered in 1990, the sitcom was an instant success. Star Will Smith, already a popular rapper, catapulted into stardom, and fellow cast members like Alfonso Ribeiro and Tatyana Ali became household names. After the comedy ended in 1996, they all went their separate ways — though they still keep in touch.
Smith and his former music partner, DJ Jazzy Jeff, recently reunited with Ribeiro to see Smith's eldest son Trey deejay in London. Later, Smith and Jeff performed the famous "Fresh Prince" theme song on "The Graham Norton Show," with Ribeiro popping in to do the beloved "Carlton dance."
Click through this slideshow to check out what else has happened to the stars of "Fresh Prince" since they left Bel-Air.
Will Smith as Will "The Fresh Prince" Smith
Played: Fun-loving Will "The Fresh Prince" Smith
Now: After "Fresh Prince," Smith became one of Hollywood's biggest stars, thanks to blockbusters like "Independence Day," "Bad Boys," "Men in Black," "I, Robot," "I Am Legend," and "Hancock." Now, he's grooming the next generation — he's starring alongside son Jaden in the sci-fi action flick "After Earth," opening in June.
Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton Banks
Played: Straight-laced Carlton Banks
Now: The child actor who first gained recognition as "The Tap Dance Kid" on Broadway and for dancing in a Pepsi commercial with Michael Jackson became world-famous on "Fresh Prince" for the much-copied "Carlton Dance." Now, Ribeiro has graduated to directing, regularly helming episodes of TBS sitcoms "Meet the Browns" and "Are We There Yet?"
James Avery as Philip Banks
Played: Stern uncle Philip Banks
Now: After starting out his career in voicework on shows like "The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," Avery branched out into live-action comedies. In recent years, he's moved more into dramas, guest-starring on "The Closer," "Grey's Anatomy," and "Harry's Law."
Janet Hubert-Whitten as Vivian Banks (Seasons 1?3)
Played: No-nonsense aunt Vivian Banks (Seasons 1–3)
Now: After Hubert was let go from "Prince," she popped up here and there in guest appearances on "The Gilmore Girls," "Friends," and "One Life to Live." Recently, she's made headlines by speaking out about getting fired from the show. And Hubert-Whitten has become embroiled in a feud with "The Talk" co-host Aisha Tyler, who advised her to "move on" from the 20-year-old incident
Daphne Maxwell Reid as Vivian Banks (Seasons 4?6)
Reid Played: Vivian Banks (Seasons 4–6)
Now: When Reid took over the role of Aunt Viv, the show often included sly jokes about the casting change; in one episode, Will asked, "So who's playing the mother this year?" Since "Prince," Reid has done a few guest appearances, most notably on "Eve" and BET's "Let's Stay Together." She and her husband, Tim Reid ("WKRP in Cincinnnati"), are both active in their Virginia communities.
Tatyana M. Ali as Ashley Banks
Tatyana M. Ali
Played: Rebellious daughter Ashley Banks
Now: The precocious, cute little girl from the beginning of the series blossomed on screen before viewers' eyes. After "Prince," Ali pursued a music career, releasing one album titled "Kiss the Sky," and graduated from Harvard University in 2002. She continued acting, as well, with roles in "Jawbreaker," "The Brothers," "Dorm Daze," and "Glory Road," as well as a recurring stint on the soap "One Life to Live." This year, she joined the cast of BET's "Second Generation Wayans."
Karyn Parsons as Hillary Banks
Played: Spoiled airhead Hillary Banks
Now: When "Prince" ended, Parsons co-created and co-starred in her own sitcom, "Lush Life," with Lori Petty. Sadly, it lasted only one season. Since then, Parsons has nearly dropped out of acting; her last credit was 2001's "The Job." She's raising two children, Lana and Nico, with her husband, director Alexandre Rockwell.
Joseph Marcell as Geoffrey, the Butler
Played: Sarcastic butler Geoffrey
Now: Marcell went on to supporting roles in "The Bold and the Beautiful" and the British soap "EastEnders," but his true love was the stage. He serves on the board of the Globe Theatre in London and is taking on the title role in their production of "King Lear."
Ross Bagley as Nicholas "Nicky" Banks
Played: Baby Nicholas "Nicky" Banks
Now: Bagley was just a little kid when he joined the cast of "Fresh Prince" for the final two seasons. After the show ended, he worked again with co-star Smith on "Independence Day," and then starred in 1994's "Little Rascals." More recently, he attended California State University, Northridge.
DJ Jazzy Jeff as Jazz
DJ Jazzy Jeff
Played: Troublemaker Jazz
Now: Jeffrey Allen Townes has been a DJ, music producer and performer, and sometime actor. He and his partner, Smith, released several hit albums in the '80s and '90s before splitting as a duo. Townes appeared in "Fresh Prince," often getting thrown out by Uncle Phil. In the years since, he has continued deejaying all over the world, recently spinning tracks on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon."
Nia Long as Lisa Wilkes, Will's girlfriend and later fiancée
Played: Lisa Wilkes, Will's girlfriend and later fiancée
Now: When Smith's eventual wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, was considered too short to play Lisa, Long stepped in to take the role. She became a familiar face in movies and TV shows, from "Third Watch" to "Are We There Yet?" Recently, Long faced off against Don Cheadle in Showtime's "House of Lies" and she will reprise her role in the sequel "The Best Man Holiday" this winter.
Tyra Banks as Jackie Ames, Will's ex-girlfriend
Played: Jackie Ames, Will's ex-girlfriend
Now: A world-famous model for Victoria's Secret and Sports Illustrated, Banks took on her first acting gig in "Fresh Prince." That was followed by stints on "Felicity," "Just Shoot Me," "Coyote Ugly," and "Gossip Girl." These days, she's still executive-producing and hosting the popular reality series "America's Next Top Model" on The CW.
Vernee Watson-Johnson as Vy Smith, Will's mother
Played: Vy Smith, Will's mom
Now: Scrolling down Watson's long and impressive resume, you'll see the names of TV's biggest hits — "ER," "The Big Bang Theory," "Two and a Half Men," and many, many more. Watson was in the spotlight for non-career reasons when she testified in the Michael Jackson's 2005 trial for child molestation.