Tatyana Ali (Actress) as Ashley Banks - The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Tatyana Ali 1
Updated: 10/03/2008

Name: Tatyana Ali

Born: January 24, 1979, North Bellmore, Long Island,

Claim To Fame: Best known for her role as Ashley Banks in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Family Life: Her parents are Sonia, a nurse from Panama, and Sheriff Ali, a retired police officer from Trinidad.

Info: By the age of five, Ali was already a two-time Star Search winner, and began her singing career at the age of seven. She also appeared with Herbie Hancock on an episode of Sesame Street. Her breakthrough role as Ashley Banks on the popular television sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel-Air not only brought her fame, but also proved her musical capabilities.

On one episode Ali sings Aretha Franklin's "Respect" and the original song "Make Up Your Mind" produced by Rob Jay of Nspyre Music Productions. Her talent prompted Will Smith to ask her if she gave serious thought to pursuing a musical career. She released her first album Kiss The Sky, which was certified gold in early 1999. The hit song "Daydreamin'" hit number six on the Billboard Hot 100 and on the UK Singles Chart.

In 2005, she completed work on the film Glory Road and starred in the music video for Nick Cannon and Anthony Hamilton's "Can I Live?" as Cannon's mother. In 2007, she appeared in the short films Wilted, How To Have A Girl, The Malibu Myth, and First Sight, which were made during the reality show On the Lot. She is currently on recurring status on the CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless as Roxanne.

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Trivia: Appeared on Star Search in 1987 and was Junior Vocalist Champion

Mother is a Black Panamanian; father is from Trinidad and of East Indian descent.

Graduated from Harvard University in June 2002 with a degree in Afro-American history and government.

Attended The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, California.

Has two younger sisters, Kimberly and Anastacia

Admires Oprah Winfrey

Her favorite actors are Spencer Tracey and Humphrey Bogart

Her favorite book is The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield

Her favorite movies are Gone With The Wind, West Side Story, Vertigo and the biopic What's Love Got To Do With It

Some of her hobbies are gymnastics, swimming, dancing, and singing.

She graduated from Marymount High School in Los Angeles, California.

Shares her birthday with Matthew Lillard, and Mischa Barton.

Has worked with Jenifer Lewis three times: "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" (1990), The Brothers (2001) and most recently Nora's Hair Salon (2004).

Worked with Alfonso Ribeiro in "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" (1990) and Kidz in the woods (TV)(1996)

Released her first CD, Kiss the Sky, in 1998 and released music video's for Boy You Knock Me Out, Daydreamin and Everytime to promote her debut album Kiss The Sky in 1998.

Has worked with Tamala Jones twice, once in The Brothers (2001) and again in Nora's Hair Salon (2004).

Ranked #74 in VH1 100 Top Child Stars in 2005

Can speak Spanish fluently and say some phrases in Hindi.

Still has contact with her Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co stars.

Is still good friends with Will Smith.

Has posed in King's Magazine twice.

Dated American actor Jonathan Brandis from 1995 to 2001, with whom she co-starred in the TV movie Fall into Darkness.

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Where Are They Now: On the musical front, Ali is working on her second album, titled The Light, which she describes as "an independent effort". She is also producing and starring in the web show, BUPPIES.

Ali is also largely involved in Barack Obama's 2008 Presidential Campaign. She has traveled as a spokesperson for the campaign, and is the head of voter registration drives at college campuses, including many historically black colleges and universities.

Earlier this year, Ali contributed her vocal talents to the song “Yes We Can,” a Will.i.am project supporting Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. She also appeared in the subsequent music video which gained coverage on the "What the Buzz" segment of ABC’s World News Now.

Write To Tatyana Ali:
Tatyana Ali
Innovative Artists (LA)
1505 10th St
Santa Monica, CA 90401


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