Alfonso Ribeiro

Alfonso Ribeiro Headshot

Actor • Host

Birth Date: September 21, 1971

Age: 52 years old

Birth Place: New York, New York

A highly charismatic dancer-actor, Alfonso Ribeiro launched his entertainment career with the starring role in the 1983 Broadway musical "The Tap Dance Kid," a breakdancing appearance in a Michael Jackson Pepsi commercial and a plum role as Ricky Schroder's sidekick on "Silver Spoons" (NBC, 1982-86; syndicated, 1986-87). Ribeiro's star-making turn, however, came as the delightfully dorky Carlton Banks, cousin to Will Smith's "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (NBC, 1990-96). Winning a Best Supporting Actor Image Award and sitcom immortality, Ribeiro charmed with his comedic chops, epitomized by his infamous "Carlton Dance." Although he scored another long-running gig as LL Cool J's sidekick on "In the House" (NBC, 1995-96; UPN, 1996-99), Ribeiro increasingly focused on directing and on-air presenting, lensing multiple episodes of several series, including "All of Us" (UPN, 2003-06; The CW, 2006-07), "Meet the Browns" (TBS, 2009-2011) and "Are We There Yet?" (TBS, 2010-13) as well as hosting "GSN Live" (GSN, 2008-2011) and "Catch 21" (GSN, 2008- ). Although his "Fresh Prince" success both helped and hindered his career, Alfonso Ribeiro remained an enormously likable and talented performer with the talent to transcend his sitcom typecasting.

Born Sept. 21, 1971 in New York City, Alfonso Lincoln Ribeiro possessed immense talent as a dancer and actor from a very young age, bringing to life the title role in the 1983 Broadway musical "The Tap Dance Kid." Building on his momentum, he starred in one of Michael Jackson's Pepsi commercials, after Jackson has spotted him in the hit play. The commercial, in which Ribeiro, donning the red leather "Beat it Jacket," moonwalks into his idol on a city street, sparked an urban legend about his supposed on-set death due to his eye-popping breakdancing moves. After a few screen appearances, he succeeded Jason Bateman as the designated sidekick of poor little rich boy Ricky Schroder for the last few years of the long-running sitcom "Silver Spoons" (NBC, 1982-86; syndicated, 1986-87), for which he earned three Young Artist Award nominations. Ribeiro also appeared in several specials and TV-movies throughout the 1980s, including multiple installments of the annual "Circus of the Stars" (CBS, 1977-1994) extravaganzas.

Ribeiro achieved his greatest fame, however, as the ultra-preppy and über-geeky Carlton Banks, the uptight foil/protégé to Will Smith's super cool L.A. transplant "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (NBC, 1990-96). Shining as both a straight man and comic buffoon, Ribeiro won a Best Supporting Actor Image Award and delighted audiences with his exuberant performance, turning his gleefully dorky "Carlton Dance" into a beloved pop cultural memory for a certain generation. It was on the series that the actor earned his first directorial credit for an episode, which quickly became a supplement to his acting career. After "Fresh Prince" ended, Ribeiro followed in the footsteps of his onscreen father James Avery to lend his voice to "Spider-Man" (Fox Kids, 1994-98) and "Extreme Ghostbusters" (Fox Kids, 1997-99).

He had guested on LL Cool J's sitcom "In the House" (NBC, 1995-96; UPN, 1996-99) as Carlton Banks, but won a second Best Supporting Actor Award for his recurring role as Dr. Maxwell Stanton and helmed multiple episodes of the series. Although Ribeiro continued to act, usually in lower-profile projects including the Amanda Bynes vehicle "Love Wrecked" (ABC Family, 2005), his focus increasingly turned toward directing, and he became a longtime lenser on such series as "One on One" (UPN, 2001-06), "All of Us" (UPN, 2003-06; The CW, 2006-07), "Meet the Browns" (TBS, 2009-2011) and "Are We There Yet?" (TBS, 2010-13). Reality shows and hosting duties also provided employment, with the always-charming Ribeiro winning "Celebrity Duets" (Fox, 2006) and hosting "GSN Live" (GSN, 2008-2011) as well as "Catch 21" (GSN, 2008-11).

By Jonathan Riggs

Credits

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2016

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Mr. Zigfield
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2010

The Talk

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2010

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Are We There Yet?

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True Jackson, VPStream

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2008

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The Wendy Williams Show

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etalk

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Last Comic Standing

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2003

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2003

The Rerun Show

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2002

One on OneStream

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2001

One on OneStream

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2001

The Brothers Garcia

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2000

For Your Love

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1998

Extreme Ghostbusters

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Roland Jackson
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1997

The View

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1997

Access Hollywood

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1996

Kidz in the Wood

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Movie
1996

In the HouseStream

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Dr. Maxwell Stanton
Series
1995

In the HouseStream

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1995

In the HouseStream

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Dr. Maxwell Stanton
Series
1995

Extra

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News
1994

Ticks

Actor
Darrel "Panic" Lumley
Movie
1993

The Fresh Prince of Bel-AirStream

Actor
Carlton Banks
Series
1990

The Fresh Prince of Bel-AirStream

Director
Series
1990

America's Funniest Home VideosStream

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Series
1990

The Mighty Pawns

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Frank
Show
1987

Silver SpoonsStream

Actor
Alfonso W. Spears
Series
1982

Entertainment Tonight

Host
News
1981

Magnum, P.I.Stream

Guest Star
Kenny
Series
1980

Good Morning America

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News
1975

Today

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1952

News aboutAlfonso Ribeiro

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