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Alfonso Ribeiro

Alfonso Ribeiro

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: September 21, 1971 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: actor, singer, dancer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

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- ) 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...

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- ) 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- ). 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- ).

By Jonathan Riggs

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Lovewrecked (2005)
2.
 Kidz in the Wood (1994) Morgan
3.
 Ticks (1993)
4.
 Out on the Edge (1989) Jesse
5.
 I Love The '90s (2004) Interviewee
6.
9.
 SnowFest 2000 (2000)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1980:
Began professional acting career at age 8 on PBS drama "Oye Willie"
1983:
Created lead role of Willie in hit Broadway musical "The Tap Dance Kid" opposite Hinton Battle
1984:
Danced with Michael Jackson in a widely seen Pepsi commercial
1984:
Joined cast of popular NBC sitcom "Silver Spoons," playing Alfonso Spears
1985:
First appearance in a TV special, "Andy Williams and the NBC Kids Search for Santa"
1986:
Played recurring role of Kenny on two episodes of long-running CBS detective series "Magnum, P.I."
1990:
Co-starred with Will Smith as the spoiled preppie Carlton Banks on NBC sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"; made directorial debut on an episode that aired 1995
1992:
Served as a presenter at "The 4th Annual Desi Awards," a syndicated awards telecast honoring the achievements of Hispanics in music, film, and TV
1994:
Feature acting debut, direct-to-video horror "Ticks"
1995:
Co-starred with LL Cool J on sitcom "In the House" (UPN)
2000:
Hosted syndicated weekly series "Your Big Break"
2002:
Played title role in Encores! staging of "Golden Boy"
2006:
Won Fox reality competition series "Celebrity Duets"
2008:
Hosted "GSN Live" on Game Show Network
2008:
Hosted Game Show Network's blackjack series "Catch 21"
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Notes

Ribeiro's voice has been featured on several single recordings, including "Dance Baby", "Not Too Young (To Fall in Love)", "Time Bomb" and "Sneak Away with Me".

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