Alfonso Lincoln Ribeiro (born September 21, 1971) is an American actor, director, dancer and game show host. While he received attention for his performance in the title role of the Broadway musical The Tap Dance Kid and his appearance as a dancer in a Pepsi commercial featuring Michael Jackson, Ribeiro is best known for his role as Carlton Banks on the NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Personal life

Ribeiro was born in Washington Heights, New York City, the son of Joy and Michael Ribeiro, a manager.[1] His family is originally from Trinidad and Tobago.[2][3] Ribeiro is the grandson of the late Roaring Lion, noted as one of the greatest Calypsonians.[citation needed].

Ribeiro and actress Robin Stapler met in 1999. They wed in 2002. Divorce papers were filed August 9, 2006 in Los Angeles Superior Court, citing irreconcilable differences. The couple share joint custody of their daughter, Sienna.[4]


Ribeiro began his career in the drama "Hit Me Again Dad" at the age of eight. By the time he was ten, he had released such songs as: "Dance with Me", "Not Too Young", & "Sneak Away with Me." His first brush with true stardom came in 1983, when he originated the title role of the Broadway musical The Tap Dance Kid, receiving positive reviews for his performance. He also appeared in one of Michael Jackson's Pepsi television commercials as a dancer in 1984, after which he was the subject of rumors that he broke his neck during the making of one of the commercials.[5] The same year, Ribeiro was cast as Rick Schroder's best friend on the TV series Silver Spoons. He also sang in a commercial for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and promoted his own "Breakin' and Poppin'" dance instruction package on television which included the famous "breakin" board.

Ribeiro was best known for his role as spoiled rich-kid Carlton Banks in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from 1990 to 1996, in which he played the cousin to Will Smith's lead character; Ribeiro also directed some episodes of Fresh Prince. The Carlton character frequently danced to Tom Jones's "It's Not Unusual". His most common move was his version of Eddie Murphy's "white guy" dance from Raw and one scene in Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark" video. Further demonstrations of his dancing came alongside Will Smith in several episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, including a tap dance routine in the show's Soul Train episode that featured a moonwalk. It also featured the famous Apache Dance, the song by the Sugarhill Gang, when Will and Carlton go into a dance competition in Las Vegas after blowing all their money in the casino.

Ribeiro also starred in a small horror movie in 1993 entitled "Ticks" (also known as "Infested"), in which he turns into a giant tick. The feature was one of the more well-received B-grade movies of the decade. [6]

Ribeiro is also known for his appearance at Synergy in Warrington on June 13, 2008. He was seen at the Arirang Festival in Pyongyang as part of a Gumball 3000 group on August 13, 2008.

He is also known for his role on LL Cool J's show In the House and as the host of Your Big Break. Ribeiro has acted and been part of the crew on many movies and TV shows. In 1997, he performed the voice of Roland Jackson in Extreme Ghostbusters. He has also appeared in Smith's "Wild Wild West" video in 1999 and in a McDonald's commercial in 2003. Ribeiro also appeared in a cameo for the Fergie music video "Glamorous".

In 2001, he appeared on a special "TV Child Stars Edition" episode of the Anne Robinson Version of The Weakest Link.

Beginning in August 2006, Ribeiro was a contestant on Fox's new reality show Celebrity Duets which teamed up entertainers not known for singing with famous singers. Ribeiro promised to do "the Carlton Dance" if he made it to the show's finale. He kept his promise when he became one of the three finalists. On September 29, 2006, Ribeiro was announced as the winner of the show. Lucy Lawless and Hal Sparks finished second and third, respectively. For his victory, Ribeiro's charity of choice, Fresh Start, which provides personal development, family law support, career, mentoring, educational, and other services to women, received $100,000.[7] Ribeiro also participated in the Mario Lemieux Celebrity Invitational to benefit cancer research.

In 2008, Ribeiro hosted Nick At Nite's "crush week" of classic television, offering romantic advice and commentary between episodes. He also was a talent scout in NBC's Last Comic Standing's Houston episode which aired May 29, 2008. Most recently Ribeiro was a featured performer aboard the Disney Cruise Line ship M/V Disney Magic during that vessel's TransAmerican Crossing through the Panama Canal.[citation needed]

Ribeiro currently lives in Los Angeles. He is a two-time winner of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race (in 1994 and 1995). Ribeiro directed episodes of former castmate Will Smith's brain child All of Us until cancellation in early 2007.[8]

Alfonso also appeared in the episode "Food Webs" of Bill Nye the Science Guy as a guest appearance.

He is currently hosting his first game show, GSN's Catch-21, which premiered July 21, 2008 and directing Tyler Perry's sitcom Meet the Browns.

He hosted a morning interactive TV show on GSN called GSN Live with Heidi Bohay (and on occasion with Debra Skelton when she fills in for Fred Roggin or Heidi Bohay) from September 15, 2008 to August 11, 2009 (and on occasion filling in for Fred Roggin on his day off).


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External links

  1. REDIRECT Template:IMDb name

nl:Alfonso Ribeiro no:Alfonso Ribeiro pl:Alfonso Ribeiroro:Alfonso Ribeiro fi:Alfonso Ribeiro sv:Alfonso Ribeiro

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