Thirty years have passed since Alfonso Ribeiro gained fame as Carlton Banks on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” where he formed a close bond with co-star Will Smith. Despite their different career trajectories, the friendship between Ribeiro and Smith has stood the test of time. Let’s explore the ups and downs they faced and how their friendship remains strong.
After the sitcom ended in 1996, Ribeiro had high hopes that his role as Carlton would boost his acting career. However, he found himself being typecast and struggling to find new opportunities. Playing such an iconic character made it difficult for others to see him in different roles. Ribeiro’s portrayal of Carlton was so convincing that people couldn’t separate him from the character, hindering his chances of further success.
Despite criticism claiming that Smith did not help his co-stars after their time on the show, Ribeiro defended him, acknowledging the unseen support he received. Ribeiro stated that Smith had assisted him in numerous ways beyond what the public could see. While Smith’s fame and fortune may not have directly transformed Ribeiro’s career, he had provided invaluable support and assistance throughout their friendship.
When Smith released his memoir, “Will,” the book gave an intimate glimpse into his life with his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith and their children. Although it became a bestseller globally, Ribeiro chose not to read it. Not because of any negative sentiment, but because he had known the Smith family for so long that he felt he already understood their story. Ribeiro respected their decision to share their truth, knowing that he didn’t need a book to gain insight into their lives.
Having known each other for over 30 years, Ribeiro and Smith’s friendship remains strong. They have spent countless years working together, socializing, and building families. Ribeiro describes Smith as a wonderful individual, emphasizing the great times they have whenever they’re together. Despite their hectic schedules, they continue to maintain a deep connection, supporting one another in both personal and professional endeavors.
As the 30th-anniversary special of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” approaches, Ribeiro addresses the fan excitement surrounding the reunion. He shares that while the public views these reunions as significant events, for him and Smith, it’s just another chance to spend time together. Ribeiro considers their bond as familial, stating that they constantly keep in touch and that this special is merely an extension of their regular interactions.
Smith recently honored Ribeiro on his 52nd birthday through a social media post, showcasing their enduring friendship. This public tribute reminds everyone that their connection has spanned decades. It is a testament to the deep bond they share and the impact they have had on each other’s lives.
Alfonso Ribeiro and Will Smith’s friendship has transcended the spotlight and endured the challenges of their respective careers. From Ribeiro’s struggles with typecasting to Smith’s unwavering support, they have remained steadfast allies. As they come together once again for the Fresh Prince reunion special, their bond serves as a reminder that true friendships can withstand the test of time and the pressures of fame.