Alfonso Lincoln Ribeiro Sr. is an American actor, show host, dancer and television director well known for his portrayal of Alfonso Spears in the 1982 television sitcom ‘Silver Spoons’. While playing the lead in the 1983 Broadway musical ‘The Tap Dance Kid’, he caught the attention of the legendary performer Michael Jackson. This helped Ribeiro to appear as a dancer in one of Jackson’s Pepsi commercials in 1984. The biggest break in his career came through in 1990 when NBC signed him for the role of Carlton Banks in the sitcom ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’. He co-starred with Will Smith in the sitcom, and his dance move to the tune of ‘It's Not Unusual’ became famous as the ‘The Carlton Move’ and has ever since became his trademark of sorts. He succeeded Tom Bergeron as the host of ‘America’s Funniest Videos’ produced by ABC. In 2006, he was the winner of ‘Celebrity Duets’ on FOX Channel. In 2014, Ribeiro won the ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Season 19 along with his dance partner Witney Carson. He is an avid car racer as well as golfer with numerous wins to his credits across various racing and golfing events.
Childhood & Early Life
Alfonso Ribeiro was born on 21, September 1971, in The Bronx, New York, US, to Michael Ribeiro and Joy Ribeiro. His parents are of African descent. He is an alumnus of California State University in Los Angeles.
Ribeiro’s advent into the entertainment industry began at the age of eight when he debuted on ‘Oye Ollie’ produced by PBS. His significant role came through in 1983, when he played the lead in Broadway’s musical hit ‘The Tap Dance Kid’.
He also tried his hand at music at the age of 10 with singles such as ‘Dance Baby’ and others to his credit.
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After a successful debut on television in 1982 with ‘Silver Spoons’, Ribeiro continued his success streak with ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ in 1990 and was part of the show until 1996.
In 1994, he became the voice artist for the TV series ‘Spider-Man’ giving background voice for the characters of Randy Robertson and Robbie Robertson.
His next successful venture came through in 1996 when he portrayed the role of Dr. Maxwell Stanton in the television series ‘In The House’. He was part of the show throughout its six seasons until 1999.
During the late 90s, he worked in a couple of made for television movies while juggling between his role as an actor and TV show host. He is also a professional tap dancer.
In 2008, he began hosting ‘GSN Live’ on Game Show Network and ‘Catch 21’, the widely acclaimed card game show on television. His next appearance as a game show host was in 2013 with ‘Spell-Mageddon’ on ABC Family.
In 2014, he participated in the British Reality Show, ‘I'm a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!’, wherein he was placed seventh after being eliminated in 19 days.
Early in his career he released a few music singles including ‘Dance Baby’, ‘Not Too Young (To Fall In Love)’, ‘Sneak Away With Me’ and ‘Time Bomb’.
Ribeiro also worked behind the camera directing TV shows for UPN. The shows he directed include ‘One on One’ in 2001 followed by ‘All of Us’ and ‘Eve’ in 2003 and ‘Cuts’ in 2005. His latest outing as a director was directing two episodes of ‘K.C. Undercover’ and ‘Young & Hungry’, both in 2015.
Currently, he is hosting ‘Unwrapped 2.0’ on Cooking Channel and ‘America's Funniest Home Videos’ on ABC.
Alfonso Ribeiro married Robin Stapler in 2002 and has a daughter Sienna Ribeiro with her. The marriage ended with a divorce in 2006, but both Ribeiro and Stapler share their daughter’s custody.
He married Angela Unkrich in 2012 and has two sons with her. The first, Alfonso Lincoln Ribeiro Jr., known as AJ, was born in 2013, while the second, Anders Reyn Ribeiro, was born in 2015.
Ribeiro lives with his wife and sons in Los Angeles. Being an avid car racer, he actively participates in various celebrity car races.
In 2005, Ribeiro ranked at 95 in vh1’s 2005 list of ‘The Greatest: 100 Greatest Kid Stars’.
Alfonso Ribeiro is the two-time winner of The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach celebrity race during 1994 and 1995.
Ribeiro flawlessly performed the Michael Jackson dance moves alongside the star in the Pepsi commercial of 1984.
He participated in the Star Mazda Series as a part-time racer during the second half of the 90s decade, with his best being placed at third position at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.