Will Smith has been an established A-list movie star for so long now, that it’s sometimes almost hard to remember that he got his start on an NBC sitcom. To be fair, it wasn’t just any sitcom. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was specifically designed to launch Smith’s acting career into the stratosphere, as he was still primarily known at that point for his rap albums with DJ Jazzy Jeff.
For those perhaps too young to have caught Fresh Prince’s original run, the series starred Smith as a fictionalized version of himself, who – as the series’ memorable theme song spells out – gets sent to live with his rich aunt and uncle in Bel-Air after getting into a fight at his inner-city Philadelphia school that scares his mom. While Smith was definitely the star and focal point, supporting characters like Will’s gruff but kind Uncle Phil (James Avery), and relentlessly nerdy cousin Carlton (Alfonso Ribeiro) also gained widespread fame.
Despite Smith’s mega success in the years since Fresh Prince’s 6-season run came to an end, he’s maintained his friendships with his co-stars, as evidenced by an Instagram photo posted by Ribeiro that features a (mostly) full reunion of the cast. Check it out below, and proceed to marvel at how little most of them have visibly aged.
Of course, the above reunion has a few asterisks attached, the first being the obvious absence of Avery, who passed away in 2013 at the age of 68. Also missing – although unsurprisingly so – is Janet Hubert, who portrayed Will’s Aunt Vivian for the first 3 seasons of Fresh Prince, before being fired and replaced by actress Daphne Reid, who is included in the above reunion photo. Hubert has claimed in the years since she was let go that her firing was due to not getting along with Smith, although he has refrained from responding in kind publicly.
In this current age of TV revivals like Fuller House and The X-Files, one wonders how long it’ll take for some type of continuation or reboot of Fresh Prince to hit the airwaves. A Smith-produced reboot was briefly rumored back in 2015, but was quickly debunked. For now at least, Smith’s story all about how his life got flipped turned upside down will seemingly remain finished.
Source: Alfonso Ribiero (via TV Line)