Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast now – ‘open marriage’ denial, divorce and tragedy

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More than 15 years after it ended, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air holds a special place in the hearts of millions.

Will Smith rocketed to stardom as a fictionalised version of himself alongside supporting cast members James Avery, Alfonso Ribeiro, Janet Hubert, Karyn Parsons and others.

Smith was already a successful rapper nicknamed The Fresh Prince.

He'd made millions as a charting musician but squandered his quickly-earned wealth and needed the sitcom to avoid bankruptcy.

Since the show first aired, the beloved actor and member of Hollywood royalty hasn't had to worry too much about failure.

But away from the TV cameras and silver screen life for Will and his Fresh Prince co-stars hasn't been quite so straightforward.

Here, we take a closer look at what Fresh Prince's best-loved stars got up to next…

Will Smith

Will Smith agreed to star in Fresh Prince in order to avoid financial disaster, but even he would admit the show's success was far beyond imagination.

By the end of its run, he had secured executive producer status on the show plus starring roles in Bad Boys, Independence Day, Men in Black and more.

A devoted family man who became a role model for millions of fans, Smith's brief marriage to Sheree Zampino from 1992 to 1995 was followed by the creation of a genuine Hollywood power marriage.

Smith started dating actress and writer Jada Pinkett shortly after his divorce. They were married on New Years Eve 1997 and had son Jaden in 1998 and Willow in 2000.

Both children have successful music careers, with Jaden working more recently on screen.

Pinkett is stepmother to Trey Smith, a 28-year-old son Will and Sheree had. Trey was taught to drive by Fresh Prince co-star Alfonso Ribeiro.

But despite appearances, cracks in the Smiths' marriage first appeared when Jada hinted at an open marriage in 2013, before rolling back her comments.

Then in July 2020 a dramatic appearance on Facebook show Red Table Talk included Jada's revelation that she had an affair with rapper August Alsina.

Alsina had said in 2016 he had a brief fling with Jada with Will's permission, though this was denied as "absolutely not true" at the time.

On Red Table Talk, Jada admitted there had been an "entanglement" which took place without the permission of her husband.

Will and Jada were apparently separated at the time but have since got back together.

James Avery

Uncle Phil actor James Avery tragically died after heart surgery in December 2013.

He had a successful acting career after his star turn on Fresh Prince, in which he played Will's grumpy but lovable father figure.

Having made 15 film appearances before Fresh Prince aired its first episode, Avery was an old hand when the show started.

But Fresh Prince took his career to new heights and he soon starred in the likes of The Prince of Egypt, Sparks and Dr. Dolittle 2.

Avery married girlfriend Barbara in 1988 and enjoyed a peaceful happy marriage.

The couple had no children but Avery raised Barbara's stepson Kevin Waters from her previous marriage.

In announcing the sad news of his death co-star and on-screen son Alfonso Ribeiro said the world had lost a "truly special" person.

Ribeiro said: "He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly."

Smith added in a Facebook post: "Every young man needs an Uncle."

When the cast reunited last year they were played a tape of Avery's highlights and all burst into tears.

Daphne Maxwell-Reid

The actress and former model replaced Janet Hubert as Aunt Viv, who was allegedly fired from the show after season 3.

Maxwell-Reid was chosen as a stellar professional who could get along with an increasingly assertive and powerful actor in Will Smith.

She more than passed the test, winning plaudits for her performance across 74 episodes.

Maxwell-Reid was the first black woman to appear on the cover of Glamour magazine in 1969. She was also the first African American homecoming queen at elite college Northwestern University.

She married husband and fellow actor Tim Reid in 1982.

Maxwell-Reid also has a son, Chris, from her first marriage to the late Robert Tubbs, plus 2 stepchildren from Tim's first marriage.

She has three grandchildren.

Alfonso Ribeiro

The Carlton Banks actor has hit the headlines on this side of the Atlantic numerous times over the past decade for his highly-anticipated appearances on Strictly Come Dancing, I'm A Celebrity and the Graham Norton Show.

But his personal life has been a tad more complex.

Ribeiro married Star Trek: Voyager actress Robin Stapler in 2002, also having daughter Sienna in 2005. They divorced in 2006.

The actor then married writer Angela Unkrich in 2012, with the Swedish former gymnast appearing on I'm A Celebrity alongside Alfonso in 2013.

Ribeiro finished seventh on the show but won season 19 of American reality show Dancing with the Stars.

Ribeiro and Unkrich have three children together.

Ava was born in November 2020, joining older brothers Alfonso Lincoln, five, and four-year-old Anders.

Ribeiro tried and failed to trademark the Carlton Dance in 2018, losing out in a court battle against Fortnite maker Epic Games. The lawsuit was dropped in 2019.

Tatyana Ali

The actress and singer who played young cousin Ashley was just 11 when the show began.

But she had five years' experience in TV already, having appeared on Sesame Street as a six-year-old in 1985.

Ali sang more and more as the show went on and ultimately launched a music career in 1998, combining acting and music in her career since.

Now 42, she is married to Stanford University African-American literature professor Vaughn Rasberry.

She is no stranger to elite academia, having studied herself at Harvard. She met Rasberry on eHarmony.

They have two sons, Alejandro and Edward, born in 2019 and 2020.

Karyn Parsons

The actress of spoiled cousin Hilary starred in 146 episodes of Fresh Prince.

She started on the show as a 24-year-old, leaving it behind at the age of 30.

Parsons then created and starred in sitcom Lush Life, but it was quickly cancelled in 1996. The same happened to The Job in 2002.

Parsons then left Hollywood altogether for 15 years, returning in 2017 with a part in short film On Monday of Last Week.

She has also written two books over the last 2 years, How High the Moon and Flying Free.

Karyn was married to actor Randy Brooks from 1987 to 1990.

She divorced the man 17 years her senior and remarried film director Alexandre Rockwell in 2003.

Parsons owns production company Sweet Blackberry in LA and has a daughter, Lana, and son Nico.

Joseph Marcell

The sole English actor in the main cast, Marcell was born in Peckham and trained at the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Central School of Speech and Drama.

His move to Hollywood came when he was cast in Fresh Prince as the quirky but responsible butler Geoffrey.

The 72-year-old married Judith M. Midtby in 1975, divorcing in 1980.

He remarried during the show's run 15 years later, tying the knot with Joyce T. Walsh in 1995.

Little is known about either of Marcell's spouses, with the actor preferring to stay out the showbiz limelight and act on stage.

He has one adult child from each marriage, with actor son Ben born in 1979 and daughter Jessica born in 1989.

Ben now has a child, making father Joseph a grandad.

It's not clear whether he treats the grandkids like Geoffrey Butler treated Will Smith.

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