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Alfonso Ribeiro Sacrificed His Acting Career To 'The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air'

By Andrew Sanford | Celebrity | May 20, 2024 |

By Andrew Sanford | Celebrity | May 20, 2024 |


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A big role in a long-running sitcom can be a blessing to one’s career. It’s steady work. The money can be fantastic after a certain point (especially if the show runs long enough to go into syndication). It can also be a curse. For some, having a starring role in a sitcom has been something that has hindered or haunted them for the rest of their lives. One such person is Alfonso Ribeiro.

Ribeiro was no stranger to the entertainment world before landing the role of Carlton Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. He starred in a Broadway show when he was eight years old. After that, he was dancing with Michael Jackson in a Pepsi commercial. Ribeiro did over 70 episodes of Silver Spoons. Still, playing opposite Will Smith for twice as long, according to Ribeiro, ended his acting career.

Alfonso Ribeiro recently chatted with Closer Weekly about Carlton. “Playing Carlton on ‘Fresh Prince’ became a sacrifice. I used to always say doing Carlton was the greatest and worst thing that ever happened to me,” he told the outlet. “It was one of the greatest roles that I ever was fortunate enough to play. But it was also the role that stopped me from acting again because people couldn’t see me as anything else. The sacrifice was not having an acting career anymore.”

It isn’t all bad. Ribeiro does remember his time on the show fondly. “It was about the cast and spending time with them. Before every show, we would go into Will Smith’s dressing room, and we’d play music and dance and just have a great energy buildup to get ready for the show. Those are some great memories of just being together,” Riberio said.

The Tap Dance Kid star has managed to stay in front of the camera since the end of Fresh Prince. He has landed guest roles and hosted game shows. He won Dancing With The Stars in 2014 and now co-hosts it. That, plus one of his most prominent gigs has been a highlight for him. “My happiest moments, career-wise, are winning Dancing With the Stars and now becoming host of Dancing With the Stars. And after winning Dancing With the Stars, I got the opportunity to do the show that I always wanted to do - America’s Funniest Home Videos,” the former Fresh Prince star said.

Still, he’s open to acting again under certain circumstances. “I’m enjoying being a host and am very happy with it. But, yes, I would go back to acting if it was exactly the right thing,” Ribeiro told Closer Weekly. I hope that the right thing does come along. He’s good enough to play someone who is not Carlton … but we know that because he was so good at playing Carlton.