What Has the Banks Family Been Up to Since The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? Here's a Recap
It’s been over 24 years since The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air ended its six-season run, but the beloved NBC sitcom (and the Carlton Dance) will live on forever. Fans will also be delighted to learn that a dramatic new Fresh Prince reboot is coming to NBC’s streaming platform Peacock and – according to Will Smith – it’s already been picked up for two seasons. Even more exciting: you can look forward to a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast reunion special, which is set to debut on HBO Max in November 2020. If you can’t wait until then to find out what the Banks family has been up to, check out the gallery for a recap.
Will Smith Now
To say Will Smith has been busy since his days as the Fresh Prince would be an understatement. After the series ended, Smith transitioned from TV to movies and went on to star in dozens of blockbuster films. In 1997, he launched his solo music career, and between his acting roles and four solo albums, Smith has been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards and two Academy Awards, and he has won four Grammy Awards. He’s been married to his second wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, since 1997, and together, they share a son and a daughter. Smith also has a son from his first marriage to Sheree Zampino. Coming up, you can expect to see Smith in the thriller Emancipation.
Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton Banks
Alfonso Riberio played Will’s cousin Carlton, the middle of the three Banks siblings, whose entitlement and rigidity often caused him to butt heads with Will.
Alfonso Ribeiro Now
Following his run as Carlton Banks, Riberio starred as Dr. Maxwell Stanton on In the House, competed on (and won) season 19 of Dancing With the Stars, directed several TV show episodes (including series such as All of Us, Meet the Browns, and Are We There Yet?), and starred in the Broadway musical The Tap Dance Kid. He is the current host of ABC’s America’s Funniest Home Videos and previously served as the host of GSN’s Catch 21, ABC Family’s Spell-Mageddon, and UPN’s Dance 360. Ribeiro married his second wife, Angela Unkrich, in 2012, and together they share two sons and a daughter. He also has a daughter from his first marriage to Robin Stapler.
Karyn Parsons as Hilary Banks
Karyn Parsons played Hilary, Will’s spoiled and fashionable cousin and the oldest of the Banks siblings.
Karyn Parsons Now
Soon after the end of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Parsons cocreated, coproduced, cowrote, and costarred on the Fox sitcom Lush Life, though the series was sadly short-lived. She also starred as Toni on the ABC sitcom The Job and appeared in films such as Major Payne, Mixing Nia, and The Ladies Man. Parsons is the creator of Sweet Blackberry, a line of animated films about little-known Black heroes, and in 2019, she published a middle-grade novel entitled How High the Moon. She’s been married to her second husband, director Alexandre Rockwell, since 2013, and together they’ve welcomed a son and a daughter.
Tatyana Ali as Ashley Banks
Tatyana Ali played the youngest of the three Banks siblings (that is, until little Nicky came along in season five), who often fell under Will’s questionable influence.
Tatyana Ali Now
Ali continued acting after her run as Ashley Banks, starring as Tyana Jones on the TV One original series Love That Girl! and appearing as Roxanne on The Young and the Restless from 2007 to 2013. Other acting roles include appearances in films such as The Brothers, Glory Road, and Nora’s Hair Salon (and its sequel), as well as a costarring role as Maya in the BET comedy Second Generation Wayans. Ali also released an album, Kiss the Sky, in 1998 and attended Harvard University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in African-American Studies and Government in 2002. In 2016, Ali married college professor Dr. Vaughn Rasberry, with whom she shares two sons.
James Avery as Philip Banks
The late James Avery played Uncle Phil, the patriarch of the Banks family who served as a father figure for Will (even though Will rarely abided by his rules).
James Avery in 2013
After his run as the Banks family patriarch, Avery starred as Alonzo Sparks in the UPN comedy series Sparks, which ran for two seasons. Other TV roles included Dr. Crippen in The Closer, Charles Haysbert in The Division, and Officer Kennedy in That ’70s Show, among several others. He remained married to his wife, Barbara Avery (whom he married in 1988), until December 31, 2013, when Avery sadly passed away at the age of 68 due to complications following open heart surgery.
Janet Hubert as Vivian Banks
Janet Hubert played Aunt Viv, Will’s kind and compassionate aunt, for the first three seasons of the series until a clash between her and Will Smith caused her to leave the show and be recast.
Janet Hubert Now
Hubert continued to act after leaving the series in 1993, appearing as Adina Phillips in The Job and Lisa Williamson in One Life to Live, in addition to other cameo appearances. Currently, the actress plays Yvonne Godfrey on General Hospital, as well as Mignon Pappion on the web series King Ester, which earned Hubert her first Daytime Emmy Award nomination in 2020. After divorcing from her first husband, James Whitten, in 1994 (with whom she shares one son), Hubert married her current husband, Larry Kraft, in 2005. She also recently ended her 27-year feud with Will Smith when they reunited for the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air HBO Max special.
Daphne Maxwell Reid as Vivian Banks
After Janet Hubert left the series, she was replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid, who played Aunt Viv in seasons four through six.
Daphne Maxwell Reid Now
After ending her run as Aunt Viv 2.0, Reid remained in the world of TV, playing Frances Hunter in Eve, Eartha in Linc’s, and Zillah Stewart in Jacqueline and Jilly, among other appearances. Coming up, you can expect to see her in the movie The Business of Christmas, which is set to debut in December 2020. Reid has been married to her husband Tim Reid (whom you may know as Ray Campbell on Sister, Sister) since 1982, and though she and her husband don’t have any children together, she has one son from her marriage to the late Robert Tubbs, two stepchildren, and three grandchildren.
Joseph Marcell as Geoffrey Butler
Joseph Marcell played the Banks family’s outspoken butler Geoffrey, who took great delight in Master William’s antics.
Joseph Marcell Now
Since his days as Geoffrey, Marcell went on to become a soap star, appearing as Hudson in The Bold and the Beautiful and Aubrey Valentine in EastEnders, among others series. Mostly recently, Marcell had a role in Netflix’s 2019 original movie The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind as Chief Wembe. He’s been married to his second wife, Joyce T. Walsh, since 1995 and together they share a son and a daughter.