Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Real-Life Partners

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Real-Life Partners

Nov 25, 2020Zhenia Lis

It's been almost 30 years since The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air flip-turned the world of sitcoms upside down. And while the 90’s sitcom introduced prime time viewers to hip-hop culture it seems that fans of the show all want to know one thing – who their real-life partners are.  So, get ready to take a trip down memory lane and learn a new thing or two!

TATYANA ALI 

Famous for playing the role of Ashley Banks on the hit 90s comedy series, Tatyana continued to be a fan favourite! The actress has gone on to star in a number of sitcoms since the show ended in 1996, but it seems that her favourite role has been wife and mother.

But prior to settling down with the Stanford University associate professor, Vaughn Rasberry, Ali had another famous relationship prior! Tatyana dated popular television actor Jonathan Brandis from 1995 to 1998. Brandis was said to be a teen sensation amongst the pop culture scene during the 90s!

Perhaps you recognise the star from the 90’s film Ladybugs or his many guest appearances on shows like Who’s The Boss and Full House? The two later broke up but remained close friends! And after a supposed “dwindling career'' following the height of his 90’s fame, the actor later took his life in his apartment.

His death is said to have hit Tatyana hard! A number of years later the star briefly dated teen heartthrob Justin Timberlake! And while neither of the stars has publicly confirmed their short-lived romance, the supposed relationship didn’t last very long.

Some publications joking that their relationship probably lasted less time than the theme song to her hit show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. But the actress did find love when she met her now-husband Vaughn Rasberry - on a dating app! That’s right - celebs using dating sites too. Tatyana’s dating site of choice? eHarmony!

Now, it’s not every relationship that starts off on a dating site that ends in marriage, but it seems like it worked out for these two! Reports detail that their loving relationship went from the app to them exchanging love letters to a number of Skype calls before they actually met in person.

Vaughn later asked Tatyana to be his wife when the two lovebirds were taking a scenic hike in the Redwoods of Yosemite which she considered thoughtful and perfect. The two married in July 2016 and have two beautiful sons together - Edward Aszard Rasberry and Alejandro Vaughn Rasberry! 

WILL SMITH 

Now, this is a story all about how… Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith fell in love. Known as one of Hollywood’s most iconic power couples, the Smiths have gone on to have successful careers, raised children and won multiples awards.

And even with all of these great achievements being married for 25 years continues to be one of their most popular accolades - especially in Hollywood where relationships often don’t last that long! But did you know that before they cemented their status as celebrity couple royalty Jada auditioned for the role of Will Smith’s girlfriend on the hit show?

That’s right! Before dating the actor, Jada was gunning for a role on the show but unfortunately didn’t get it. In fact, it wasn’t until Jade appeared on the TV show A Different World that Will notice the aspiring actress. But this is where things get a little sticky: he was married to Sheree Fletcher at the time.

Sitting down at Jada’s Facebook show Red Table Talk, Will explains a breakthrough that he had during a dinner with his then-wife Sheree, saying: "I had a realization I wasn’t with the person I was supposed to be with," Will later went on to split from Sheree and proposed to Jada in November 1997.

And the talk show host admits that the relationship was quite the whirlwind from there saying: "One day we got engaged, and the next day we found out we were pregnant”. The two got married a month later and welcomed their first son Jaden Christopher Syre Smith in 1998 and their daughter Willow Camille Reign Smith two years later!

And while the Smiths may have had a dream romance that isn’t to say that their relationship hasn’t experienced a few hiccups. In fact, their unconventional marriage continues to be a hot topic. Does the word ‘entanglement’ sound familiar to you?

If it does, then you have Jada and her relationship with R&B singer August Alsina to thank for that! While Jada was still married to Will she went on to date August for a brief period. Will made it clear that the couple were separated at the time saying: "I was done with you, Marriages have that though."

Jada clarified that the two had separated saying: ‘We decided that we were going to separate for a period of time.’ And while some may have deemed this enough for an official end of their marriage, the couple claims that this period helped strengthen their relationship.

The two eventually found their way back to each other and have made it clear that they are more solid than ever with Jada sharing that they have “Really gotten to that new place of unconditional love” And we couldn’t be happier that the two are in a good place!

KARYN PARSONS

We all may remember Karyn Parsons who played the spoiled rich kid Hillary Banks on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," who seemed to care more about the superficial than substantial things. But don’t get it twisted - she’s nothing like her on-screen 90s character! In fact, the actress has since chosen a quiet life out of the spotlight to focus on her family.

And even though we may not see Parsons on our screen as much, she definitely owes her marriage to her brief acting career! Parsons actually met her husband, American film director Alexander Rockwell, on the set of the 2002 movie, "13 Moons" and they got married the very next year.

And while the adorable couple and their children can be seen giving fans snapshots of their personal lives on Instagram that isn’t to say that the couple’s relationship hasn’t come under fire. So why are people mad at Karyn Parsons and Alexander Rockwell? Well, for being an inter-racial couple.

Much like many mixed Hollywood marriages, these two have had to deal with their fair share of backlash. Parson, who identifies as biracial, and Rockwell, a white male, have had to adjust to life in the public eye. And the constant scrutiny that comes with it.

Many have even gone on to say that the couple has actively chosen to raise their children as more ‘white’ than black. But Karyn quickly came to the defense of their parenting style saying that she wants her kids to understand their uniqueness. She therefore actively educates them to love who they are and respect other people.

The actress also does not believe that being biracial means one has to identify with a specific group as "everyone is human and has a story". For her, it's more important to have self-love as people will always see what they want.

ALFONSO RIBEIRO

Like most celebrities, Alfonso Ribeiro tries to keep his personal life rather private but he has chosen to share a couple of snapshots into his personal life - one of which being his love life. So who’s the woman who has stolen Alfonso Ribeiro's heart? None other than professional writer Angela Unkrich!

The two began their relationship back in 2011 and later announced their engagement in July 2012. They later got married in an intimate ceremony in Burbank California! And who made the guest list? None other than his Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star Will Smith!

The Riberiro’s later welcomed their son Alfonso Lincoln Ribeiro who can be seen making multiple appearances on their various social media pages! Angela also has a great relationship with Ribeiro's daughter, Siena, from his previous marriage to actress Robin Stapler.

And it seems that Angela is not only a fan of her husband’s character on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air which finished filming back in 1996 but is close to a few of the cast members too! In this photo, you can see Karyn Parsons and Tatyana Ali meet her little baby! How cute?

BUT the sweet moments between this couple did experience a slight bump in the road. During an episode of Jada Smith’s Facebook Watch series, Red Table Talk she claimed that she once went on a date with Alfonso Ribeiro. She shared that: “I actually think I dated Alfonso. I think we went on one date together. And he, like, took you on a motorcycle or something.”

And while she only shared this information with husband Will Smith and her viewers, Ribeiro responded and claimed that he remembers things a little differently. After the episode was released, Ribeiro, 47, tweeted his side of the story. “Sorry, Jada. Your memory is a little off,” he wrote.

“We went to lunch with your family when we both guest-starred on A Different World the year before you became a regular.” In response, Pinkett Smith laughed off the situation, replying, “my fault Alf… I thought it was a date.” She added a laughing emoji and heart emoji to the tweet! Showing that the cast may be close … just not that close!

JOSEPH MARCELL

Joseph Marcell, better known for his role as the ever-witty Geoffrey, the butler on the 90s sitcom The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air has had a string of successes following the end of the show. One of which has been his personal life! The actor, who prefers to stay out of the limelight has been married twice.

His very first marriage was to Judith M. Midtby, with whom he tied the knot in 1975 and welcomed his first child, son Ben, in 1979. The couple later split but continue to be amicable as they raise their son. Marcell went on to marry his second and current wife, Joyce T. Walsh, in 1995. They share a daughter, Jessica, born in 1989.

And while there is little to no information about Jessica and what she does for a living, sources, however, claim that Ben has followed in his father’s steps. He is now an actor and he’s also an improv artist. The 44-year-old actor also enjoys performing on stage like his dad and his Instagram page gives us all the father-son content we could ever dream of.

JANET HUBERT AND DAPHNE MAXWELL REID 

Two fabulous actors and one iconic role! The original Vivian Banks played by Janet Hubert, may have left the show due to creative differences, but that doesn’t mean she doesn't deserve her spot on our list! The actress was married to James Whitten from 1990 to 1994 and they had a son, Elijah Isaac Whitten.

Hubert later went on to marry now-husband Larry Kraft and the two look deeply in love. Our second Aunt Viv, Daphne Maxwell Reid, is married to fellow actor Tim Reid, who also had a starring role in the 90s as father Ray Campbell on the sitcom Sister, Sister.

This is her second marriage as she was previously married to the late Robert Tubbs, whom they share a son Chris Tubbs! She now has two stepchildren, Timothy II and Tori Reid.

JAMES AVERY 

This video definitely wouldn’t be complete without James Avery! The actor who played the beloved Uncle Phil on the hit 1990s sitcom passed away in 2014 from complications during open-heart surgery. Earlier this year the cast of the show took a moment during their recent virtual reunion to honor the late James Avery.

"Our show wouldn't have been HALF what it was without the talent and light that was James Avery, " the star Will Smith wrote on Instagram, sharing footage from the tribute. "We all love and miss you, James." And it’s clear from the video that they all deeply loved their co-star. He is survived by his wife Barbara and his stepson Kevin Waters!

Which of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air stars’ lives have you been following up on? Let us know what you think. 

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