More than being an actor, Alfonso Ribeiro is a dancer, comedian, director, and television host. He is known for playing Carlton Banks in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996). Despite not being the lead, Alfonso made a lasting impact through what is now famous as The Carlton dance.
Being an entertainer has not only made Ribeiro famous; it has also made him a lot of money. As much as his career has been fulfilling, he is also a successful family man with a wife and four children.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Is His Most Successful Acting Project
Although he has dipped his toes into the waters of other career paths, acting has remained Alfonso’s prime endeavor. As a matter of fact, it is his success as an actor that has enabled him to pursue other opportunities.
This success began with his role in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, a sitcom that brought not just Alfonso, but Will Smith to the limelight. In the sitcom, he played Carlton Banks, a cousin to the lead character played by Will Smith. Alfonso’s character had the habit of dancing to Tom Jone’s It’s Not Unusual. This routine later earned him “The Carton Dance” trademark.
When the series ended, Alfonso tried his hands at other works. From 1996 to 1999, Ribeiro portrayed the main character named Dr. Maxwell Stanton on the sitcom, In The House. He reprised his Carlton Banks role in episode 201 of the series. He also starred in Things We Do for Love, Lovewrecked, Shake It Up, Ticks, and Kidz in the Wood.
He has also performed as a voice actor. He made his voice acting debut as Randy Robertson in the 1996 Spider-Man TV show. Since then, he has had voiced roles in works like Extreme Ghostbusters and Are We There Yet?
In all, Alfonso Ribeiro’s filmography has more than 33 acting credits. His performances in Silver Spoons, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and In the House have earned him nominations from Young Artist Awards, NCLR Brave Awards, and Image Awards.
The Actor Is Also an Accomplished Director
Alfonso Ribeiro was still setting up his legacy on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air when he took up directing. His first directorial role was in the 11th episode of the series’ sixth season titled I, Ooh, Baby, Baby. The episode received plenty of accolades for a first-time director.
He did more directing on In the House between 1997 and 1998. Seven years later (in 2005), he began a full-fledged TV directorial career that has lasted to date. He has directed multiple episodes of All of Us, One on One, Meet the Browns, Things We Do for Love, Shake It Up, Let’s Stay Together, and K.C. Undercover.
As a director, aside from having plenty of critically rated works in his credits, he has also received an award nomination. In 2005, he received a nomination from BET Comedy Awards for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series (All of Us).
He Started TV/Radio and Game Hosting in 2008
Starting from July 2008, Alfonso Ribeiro became the host of Catch 21 on the Game Show Network (GSN). He hosted the show between 2008 and 2011 before it went off the air, and he received plenty of accolades for his hosting performance. Since the show returned in 2019 with a new style and rules, Alfonso has maintained his role as host.
In between his hiatus on Catch 21, he hosted Spell-Mageddon, an ABC Family game show in 2013. He also made guest and co-hosting appearances on Unwrapped 2.0, Access Daily, Entertainment Tonight, and AFV: America, This is You!. The actor is also the host of America’s Funniest Home Videos.
His impressive appearances on television have also made him a favorite as a guest judge or panelist for several reality competitions and talk shows. He has been a panelist on To Tell the Truth, a guest anchor on Today, guest judge on Strictly Come Dancing, and several others.
In July 2019, he expanded his hosting gigs to Radio. Ribeiro started hosting the syndicated radio show, The 90s with Alfonso Ribeiro, with Daena Kramer. The 3-hour weekly radio program celebrates 90s music and pop culture. As a host, he has received a Daytime Emmy Awards nomination for his work on Catch 21, for Outstanding Game Show Host.
The Actor Has Explored and Expressed His Passion for Dancing Via Various Means
Most notably, he competed and won season 19 of Dancing with the Stars alongside his professional partner, Witney Carson. He later appeared respectively as a guest judge and substitute host on week 3 and 4 of Season 21 of the competition in 2015. He also did a trio jive with Season 25 winner Frankie Muniz and his partner Witney Carson in week 8 of the dance show in 2017.
Before his breakthrough in acting, Ribeiro authored Alfonso’s Breakin’ & Poppin’ Book, a dance instruction book published in 1985. He also released some singles in the 1980s, including Not Too Young (To Fall In Love), Dance Baby, Sneak Away With Me, and Timebomb.
Aside from dance-related ventures, Alfonso has also appeared in several reality competitions like the British reality show, I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here. He also competed on The Weakest Link and The $100,000 Pyramid.
Ribeiro is also a golf and car racing enthusiast, always participating in celebrity golfing events and car races. In the 1990s, he worked part-time as a car racer in the Star Mazda Series, finishing 3rd in one of the competitions. He has also starred in a series of commercials for State Farm Insurance, where he played a version of himself who is a fanatic of Chris Paul.
A Long and Diversified Career Has Earned Alfonso Ribeiro a $7 Million Net Worth
The professional paths covered above have helped Alfonso Ribeiro become a rich man. Since he made his debut in 1980, the actor has accrued a personal net worth estimated at $7 million. Sadly, we can’t tell which of his career pursuits is most responsible for his wealth.
However, there is no denying that acting is at the top end of the list, specifically his work on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Although his salary during the show’s run remains unknown, it is widely considered a significant source of income for several of its cast members.
An Inability to Patent the Carlton Dance Cost Him a Lot of Money
Alfonso Ribeiro could have been richer if he had won a lawsuit he brought against the makers of Fortnite in December 2018. Alfonso, along with other personalities like Russell Horning (Backpack Kid), and Terrence Ferguson sued Epic Games for using their dance moves as emotes in the popular game.
According to Carlton’s claim, he had popularized the dance as a cast member of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Thus, a fraction of the earnings Epic Games made from selling the dance move to players should be given to him under copyright law.
Unfortunately, Alfonso was unable to secure a copyright for the dance after a ruling by the U.S Copyright Office in January 2019, so he dropped the lawsuit. We are not sure the exact amount he would have gotten had he won the suit. However, considering Epic Games has a value of $17.3 billion, it would have been significant.
A Significant Chunk of His Wealth Has Gone to Real Estate
How Alfonso Ribeiro spends his money remains elusive. Still, one imagines a considerable proportion of it goes to exotic vacations and luxury car collections.
Disregarding that, we do know he spends his money in real estate. In 2015, the actor bought a home worth $1.94 million.
He also made a healthy profit from a home he bought in 2002 for $729,000. He purchased the Toluca Lake home at the turn of the decade and sold it for $1.45 million in 2016.
Alfonso Ribeiro Has Four Children from Two Marriages
On the personal front, it has been a mixed success for the actor. His first marriage was to actress Robin Stapler and his second to Angela Unkrich, which has lasted to date.
He Met Robin on the Set of In the House
The show is not as memorable as his other works, but Alfonso will remember it for leading him to his first wife. The two met in 1999 while filming the show, and it was reportedly love at first sight. Ribeiro asked her out, they went to dinner and started a relationship shortly after.
They got married in January 2002 and about a year after, gave birth to their only child Sienna Ribeiro who was born in 2003. Unfortunately, the love that started their relationship did not last, leading to a separation and divorce in August 2006.
The exact cause of the divorce remains undisclosed. The couple cited irreconcilable differences in the divorce papers filed at the Los Angeles Superior Court. Their amicable divorce ended with an agreement to have joint custody of their daughter.
Alfonso and Angela Married After Three Months of Engagement
Interestingly, the origins of his most successful marriage remain unknown. However, we know that after what we presume to be a significant period of dating, Alfonso and Angela got engaged in August 2012. Three months after, on October 13, 2012, they got married.
Their first child, a son named after him as Alfonso Lincoln Ribeiro Jr. was born on October 27, 2013. The couple later welcomed their second child, also a son named Anders Reyn Ribeiro on April 30, 2015. On May 13, 2019, Angela gave birth to their third child and first daughter, Ava Sue.
All members of the family, including his daughter from his first marriage, live in his Granada Hills home in Los Angeles.