“I looked at my kingdom, I was finally there, to sit on my throne as the prince of Bel-Air.”
The first four episodes of Bel-Air, the reboot of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, have aired on Peacock, and the show is taking a new approach to the original comedy series’ plot.
And, even though Bel-Air offers a ~fresh~ take on the ’90s sitcom, watching these episodes still made me think back to The Fresh Prince.
So, to celebrate the treasure that is The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, here’s a then vs. now look at the cast from the show.
In the original series, Will Smith starred as, … yep, you got it, Will Smith, a character from West Philly who brought some fun to the Banks’ Bel-Air home.
Now, Will is scoring top Hollywood roles and recently played the father of Venus and Serena, Richard Williams, in King Richard. The movie has received six Oscar nominations, and Will was nominated in the Best Actor category.
He’s also a producer of Bel-Air and kicked off its premiere with a new rendition of The Fresh Prince theme song.
Next is Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Carlton Banks. Carlton was the preppy, practical middle child of the Banks family. He was Will’s opposite but always remained by his side during his escapades.
Alfonso is now the host of America’s Funniest Home Videos, which is a position he’s held since 2015.
James Avery portrayed Philip Banks, or Uncle Phil, Will’s strict but caring uncle. He was a wealthy Southern California lawyer who went on to become a judge during the series.
Here’s Karyn Parsons, who played Hilary Banks, Will’s superficial (but fashionable) cousin who was the oldest Banks sibling.
Nowadays, Karyn is an author and recently released a children’s book called Saving the Day, which tells the story of black inventor Garrett Morgan creating the traffic signal. She spoke about the book on GMA3: What You Need To Know on Feb. 10.
She’s also released two other books for children about African American stories, called How High the Moon and Flying Free.
Fans of the show will remember Tatyana Ali for her portrayal of Ashley Banks, Will’s lovable younger cousin.
Tatyana recently played the dual role of twins in the Lifetime movie,Vanished: Searching for My Sister.
She was also a guest on Celebrity Wheel of Fortune in January.
Vivian Banks, or Aunt Viv, was originally played by Janet Hubert. She was Will’s mother’s sister, and a steady and nurturing leader of the Banks household.
The prim and proper, hilarious butler to the Banks family, Geoffrey Butler, was played by actor Joseph Marcell.
Joseph starred in the short, Folding, in 2022. He has another short out this year and an upcoming role in a thriller film called The Stranger in Our Bed.
Will’s closest friend, Jazz, was played by none other than DJ Jazzy Jeff. He was a fun, good-natured character, but he would sometimes (literally) get thrown out of the Banks’ house for acting up.
Last but not least is Ross Bagley, who played Will’s adorable little cousin, Nicky Banks.
Believe it or not, he has a young son of his own. Here’s a cute shot of the two of them from his Insta account: