Alfonso Ribeiro Explains Why ‘Fresh Prince’ Role Was ‘The Greatest And Worst Thing That Ever Happened To Me’

Alfonso Ribeiro, who became a household name on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air with his character Carlton Banks and his signature “Carlton dance,” is talking about the cost that came with the high-profile gig on the classic sitcom.

“Playing Carlton on Fresh Prince became a sacrifice. I used to always say doing Carlton was the greatest and worst thing that ever happened to me,” Ribeiro told Closer.

“It was one of the greatest roles that I ever was fortunate enough to play, but it was also the role that stopped me from acting again because people couldn’t see me as anything else,” added Ribeiro, now the co-host of Dancing with the Stars. “The sacrifice was not having an acting career anymore.”

Ribeiro starred in all six seasons of Fresh Prince (1990-96). He appeared in two films during the popular sitcom’s run, but didn’t land a consistent TV gig after the show ended until his role of Dr. Maxwell Stanton on In The House.

Since then, Ribeiro has maintained a presence as a television host, including America’s Funniest Home Videos and Jack Hanna’s Passport on ABC. He’s the perfect fit on DWTS after winning Season 19 of the show in 2014.

“I’m enjoying being a host and am very happy with it,” he said. “But, yes, I would go back to acting if it was exactly the right thing,” he saids.

As for what Ribeiro considers to be his big break, the Bronx, New York, native believes it was his Broadway debut in 1983’s The Tap Dance Kid, which helped him land the lead in a Pepsi commercial with Michael Jackson.

“Playing the title character in a Broadway show was a big deal,” said Ribeiro, who added that the Pepsi commercial “really broke me out of the New York area and gave me some worldwide notoriety.”

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