These Black Actresses All Have A Juicy Connection To Will Smith

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Will Smith is one of those rare unicorns in Hollywood who has been able to enjoy huge commercial success in music, film, and television. After appearing in 2016’s Suicide Squad and Collateral Beauty, Smith is the lead in an upcoming Netflix original film called Bright. Before he was one of the biggest movie stars in the world, he won the first-ever rap category Grammy in 1988.
You might be too young to remember Smith as a staple in hip-hop. But chances are you still know exactly what he looked like back then, because he starred in The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air. One of the things that made Fresh Prince the best Black sitcom ever (I’m ready to argue) is how embedded it was in pop culture. One of the perks of being led by a successful rapper was that Fresh Prince was frequently able to land celebrity guest stars of all walks, including Boyz II Men, Don Cheadle, and Jay Leno. Even Donald Trump made an appearance on the show (and it ironically foreshadowed how the world would feel about him after the 2016 election).
But Smith's character on Fresh Prince was best known for being an overzealous ladies' man. And his list of on-screen love interests includes some Black actresses who have résumés just as impressive as his. These are some of the famous Black women who had the honor of being “Fresh Princesses.”
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Nia Long

I would argue that Nia Long is the Black community’s Jennifer Aniston. She is oft considered our “most beautiful woman” and had already made her film debut in John Singleton’s Boyz in the Hood when she appeared on the show. In other words, she made the fictional Will Smith one lucky man.

Over the course of two seasons, Long was Smith’s girlfriend and then fiancée. Although they never made it to marital bliss, she will go down in Fresh Prince history as the one who got Will to settle down.
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Tyra Banks

Already a world-renowned supermodel, Tyra Banks launched her acting career as Jackie, an around the way girl turned college student on The Fresh Prince.

According to Will, he lost his virginity to Jackie as a teenager in Philly before he moved to Los Angeles. When she ends up in L.A. for college, she wants nothing to do with her old fling. Their constant bickering is a staple of season 4.
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Queen Latifah

One of his hop-hop peers, Queen Latifah played two different roles on the second season of Fresh Prince. She was the overzealous boss of Will’s bougie cousin, Hillary. She then played his plus-sized classmate Dee Dee, whom he friend-zoned because of her weight until he realized that she was actually perfect for him.

Today, we know that Latifah earned her title as Queen because she’s literally the best at everything.
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Pam Grier

One of the most iconic Black actresses, Pam Grier was seasoned when she appeared on season 4 of The Fresh Prince.

She plays the ex-girlfriend of Uncle Phil, but she has her eyes set on Will. They cause a huge scene when it’s revealed that she and Will slept together, mainly because Will was supposed to be dating her daughter at the time.
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Tisha Campbell

Before she was putting up with an annoying boyfriend as Gina on the popular sitcom Martin, or starred in Damon Wayans in My Wife & Kids, Tisha Campbell was the really annoying girlfriend to Will Smith on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Will’s aunt and uncle think that he and Kathleen (Campbell) are moving too fast in their relationship. Luckily mother nature — in the form of an earthquake — brings out the worst in the young lovers and makes them realize that they weren’t mean to be.
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Vivica A. Fox

Ladies' man though he may be, Will’s love interests on Fresh Prince often prove more trouble than they were worth. This is definitely the case with Janet, the overbearing sister of Will’s best friend Jazz who shows up in the first season. In just a few days of dating, she's already planned out their life together and demands that Will get with the program. Ever the schemer, Will pawns her off onto Carlton.

Vivica Fox, who played Janet, would star as Smith’s love interest again in the movie Independence Day.
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Stacey Dash

Let’s just say that Stacey Dash got a little bit of practice playing a rich and entitled girl before she appeared on Clueless.

In season 4 of The Fresh Prince, Will let’s his close proximity to fame cloud his judgement when he starts dating pop star Michelle Michaels (Dash). He’s heartbroken and humiliated when he learns that he isn’t the only man in her life.
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Photo: Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock.
Garcelle Beauvais

Remember when Garcelle Beauvais put her husband on blast for cheating on her? Had he watched the third season of The Fresh Prince, he would have known that Beauvais is not the kind of girl to take such disrespect.

Playing Veronica, she publicly confronts Will about his treatment of women and his sorry attempts to hit on her at their local high school.

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