Alfonso Ribeiro (Actor) as Carlton - Fresh Prince of Bel Air
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Updated: 10/11/17

Name: Alfonso Ribeiro

Born: September 21, 1971 in New York, NY

Claim To Fame: Probably the role that all of us know Alfonso for is that of Carlton, the uptight, preppy cousin of Will Smith, in the 'Fresh Prince of Bel Air.'

Family Life: Robin married in January 2002, 1 child, daughter named Sienna

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Info: Born in New York of parents who immigrated from the Dominican Republic, Alfonso began his career when he debuted on the PBS show "Oye Ollie."

After getting the starring role in the Broadway musical "The Tap Dance Kid" he was spotted by Michael Jackson who cast him as a dancer in a Pepsi commercials.

At the age of 10 Ribeiro dabbled as a musician, releasing singles such as "Dance Baby," "Not Too Young (To Fall In Love)", "Sneak Away With Me" and "Time Bomb". It was about this time that he was cast as Rick Schroder's best friend on the long-running series "Silver Spoons" (1982).

He attended California State University at Los Angeles after the end of the series, and was later cast as Carlton Banks on the popular series "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (1990). 

Trivia: There was a rumor that he died in the 80s while doing a head
spin, but he was confused with a break-dancing boy in a Pepsi commercial who did die.

An avid racecar driver, he won The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach celebrity race in 1994 and 1995.

Admits he's hooked on 'American Idol.'

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Where Are They Now: Alfonso feels he has been typecast as Carlton.
He said in an interview, "People are still seeing me in that light... It's a character people. I'm not playing myself, that's why they call it 'acting!'"

"The role has made it harder for me to do new work as an actor. For example, Carlton's character can't dance, but I can. I've been dancing since I was a kid. I don't think I'm anything like Carlton Banks."

In 2002 he returned to his New York roots to perform in the New York musical, 'Golden Boy.'

Then in 2003, he starred in a McDonald's commercial for McGriddle
breakfast sandwiches.

Even though he is still acting, most recently in 'Lovewrecked', a made for TV movie, directing is clearly what Alfonso wants to do.

"People don't realize, I directed on 'In the House' and 'Fresh Prince.' I truly enjoy directing. I attended New York's film school... I enjoy looking at the words on the paper and visualizing how to make them come to life. As a director you have the entire image in mind and bring it to life. The creative process is really amazing."

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