The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
“I believe in fate, I believe in hard work, and I feel like if I just keep marching, the path will kind of appear before me.” Tatyana M Ali
Actress and R&B singer Tatyana M Ali began her career as a child actress playing a regular on the classic children's educational series "Sesame Street" from 1985-1990. Growing up, she was popular as Ashley Banks, Will Smith's younger cousin, in the hit NBC sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” (1990-1996). She has starred in a number of TV movies and guest starred in such TV shows as "The Cosby Show," "Are You Afraid of the Dark," and "Half & Half." She now plays Roxanne on the CBS soap opera "The Young and the Restless."
On the big screen, Tatyana has appeared in the films "Eddie Murphy Raw" (1987), "'Crocodile' Dundee II" (1988), "Kiss the Girls" (1997), "Jawbreaker" (1999), "The Brothers" (2001), "National Lampoon Presents Dorm Daze" (2003), "Nora's Hair Salon" (2004), and "Glory Road" (2006). She will next be seen in the upcoming films "Nora's Hair Salon II," "Hotel California," "Privileged," and "Locker 13."
“I always want to entertain people and sing and dance.” Tatyana M Ali
As for her singing career, Tatyana, who was a two-time winner of "Star Search" at age seven, released an album, "Kiss The Sky," on August 25, 1998. Her latest single, "It's All Right," was released in 2008.
"I never set out to be one, but I guess parents like it because I am dedicated to school. With being on Disney, a lot of young people look up to me and I'm becoming more aware of it, especially because of all the responses I get." Tatyana M Ali (on being a role model)
This 5' 4" black-haired, brown-eyed, multi-talented performer ranked #74 in VH1’s 100 Top Child Stars in 2005 and has posed in King's Magazine twice. She had a much-publicized relationship with former child actor Jonathon Brandis (born on April 13, 1976; died on November 12, 2003 of suicide).
“If you don't have fun with what you are doing, then it's not worth doing at all.” Tatyana M Ali
Childhood and Family:
“I am grateful to all my family for all the support and sacrifices over the years.” Tatyana M Ali
Daughter of an Afro-Latino nurse from Panama called Sonia Moore and an Indo-Trinidadian retired police officer from Trinidad and Tobago named Sheriff Ali, Tatyana Marisol Ali was born on January 24, 1979, in Long Island, New York. She has two younger sisters, Kimberly (born in 1986) and Anastasia (born in 1983).
Tatyana, nicknamed Ty, attended Saw Mill Road Elementary School and Grand Avenue Middle School in Bellmore, the New York Marymount High School in West Los Angeles, California, The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, and Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts. Tatyana, who can speak Spanish fluently and say some phrases in Hindi, graduated from Harvard University in June 2002 with a degree in Afro-American history and government.
In her free time, Tatyana enjoys gymnastics, swimming, dancing, and singing. She has a dog named Chloe and a cat named Pepper. She is still good friends with her “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” co-star Will Smith.
“Will Smith said if I ever need some help, he was there for me.” Tatyana M Ali
Tatyana dated fellow actor Jonathan Brandis between 1995 and 2001. She then began dating a Harvard classmate.
"Probably now I would make a horrible girlfriend because I'm always traveling, so I'd never do that to anyone." Tatyana M Ali
Kiss The Sky
“Believe in yourself and your talent 100% and never let anyone discourage you from following your dream.” Tatyana M Ali
Singing by the age of four, Tatyana M Ali got her first taste of fame as a regular on the acclaimed children's educational series "Sesame Street.” She also performed in productions in New York, including the Broadway show “Fences,” the off-Broadway show “Orfeo del Campo,” and the musical "Sugar Hill."
In 1987, Tatyana made her feature debut in "Eddie Murphy Raw," appearing as Eddie's sister, She followed it up with a small role in the Australian adventure and comedy film "'Crocodile' Dundee II" (1988) and a lead role in the 30-minute short family movie "Wow, You're a Cartoonist" (1988). She also starred in the comedic TV movie "Wally and the Valentines" (1989) and guest starred in an episode of ABC’s prime time television series "A Man Called Hawk" and the NBC sitcom starring Bill Cosby, "The Cosby Show."
Tatyana began a singing career at age seven when she became a two-time winner of the singing competition on "Star Search." In 1990, she made her breakthrough as an actress when she was cast as Ashley Banks, Will Smith's younger cousin, on the popular NBC sitcom starring Will Smith, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” She stayed on the show from its pilot on September 10, 1990, until is finale on May 20, 1996.
"I was only eleven when we filmed the pilot. I didn't really expect anything to come out of it. I mean, the idea of a rapper being a star on a sitcom just wasn't heard of." Tatyana M Ali (on “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”)
Her performance in the show won her a Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress Starring in a New Television Series in 1991, a YoungStar Award for Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Comedy TV Series in 1997, and an Image Award for Outstanding Youth Actor/Actress in 1996.
"After that episode, I would meet people on the street and they'd ask me, 'When is your album coming out?' This was before I'd even thought about pursuing a record deal" Tatyana M Ali (after her singing performances on “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”)
During her “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” stint, Tatyana co-hosted the short-lived NBC teen game show "Brains and Brawn" (1993) and the NBC wish fulfillment series "Name Your Adventure" (1994). She also appeared in the made-for-television movies "TV's Funniest Families" (1994), "Kidz in the Wood" (1996), and "Fall Into Darkness" (1996) and guest starred in an episode of ABC/NBC’s sitcom "Getting By," Nickelodeon’s horror/fantasy themed children's television series "Are You Afraid of the Dark," NBC’s sitcom "In the House," and FOX’s sitcom "Living Single."
Post “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” Tatyana released a debut album titled "Kiss The Sky," on August 25, 1998. The Gold album spawned the singles "Day Dreamin," "Boy You Knock Me Out" (featuring Will Smith), "Everytime," and "Kiss The Sky" (featuring Marion). It debuted at #108 and peaked at #47 in 1998. The following year, she toured with the All That and More Music Festival.
As for acting, Tatyana had supporting roles in the 1997 films "Fakin' Da Funk," a comedy by writer/director Tim Chey starring Pam Grier, Ernie Hudson, Dante Basco, and Margaret Cho, and "Kiss the Girls," Gary Fleder's film adaptation of James Patterson's 1995 thriller novel starring Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, and Cary Elwes. She also co-starred with Christopher Plummer in the horror film "The Clown at Midnight" (1998) and Rose McGowan, Rebecca Gayheart, Julie Benz, and Judy Greer in the film "Jawbreaker" (1999). On the small screen, she was spotted as a guest in an episode of the short-lived FOX drama series "413 Hope St."
Entering the new millennium, Tatyana was cast in the thriller "Brother" (2000), opposite Omar Epps. She then supported Morris Chestnut, D.L. Hughley, Bill Bellamy, and Shemar Moore in Gary Hardwick's romantic comedy movie "The Brothers" (2001) before landing her first starring role in a movie in David and Scott Hillenbrand's comedy "National Lampoon Presents Dorm Daze" (2003), alongside Patrick Renna, Chris Owen, Marie-Noelle Marquis, and Danielle Fishel. She also guest starred in an episode of FOX’s drama series "Fastlane" and UPN’s sitcom "Half & Half."
During the following years, Tatyana appeared in Lil Romeo's music video “My Cinderella” (2004) and Nick Cannon's music video “Can I Live” (2005)
“Videos are more like photography. It's not as much about trying to tell a story as it is creating images.” Tatyana M Ali
On the big screen, she appeared in the independent film "Nora's Hair Salon" (2004; alongside Jenifer Lewis and Tamala Jones) and "Back in the Day" (2005; opposite Ja Rule). She also starred in the mystery movie "Domino One" (2005; with Nick Garrison, Ken Cheeseman, and Steve Guttenberg) and supported Josh Lucas, Derek Luke, and Jon Voight in the true story-based sports drama "Glory Road" (2006).
Tatyana appeared in the buddy movie "The List" (2007), with Wayne Brady and Sydney Tamiia Poitier. That same year, she began playing the recurring role of Roxanne (2007-Present) on the Emmy Award-winning CBS soap opera "The Young and the Restless."
“Right now I prefer film. I like being totally immersed in a world for a few months and living some place for a while and I think this is because of music too, having been on tour with a group of people. I like the intensity of it.” Tatyana M Ali
Tatyana will soon reprise her role of Lilliana in "Nora's Hair Salon II" and co-star with Erik Palladino, Tyson Beckford, and Simon Rex in the action film "Hotel California."
On making the movie “Hotel California,” she recalled, “I do get jacked up. I'm known more for lighter stuff, obviously for comedy, but this is really very dramatic and my character experiences a lot of violence and gets caught up in a situation where she has to fight for her life.”
She will soon complete her upcoming film projects, "Privileged," with Nikki Reed and Julian Morris, and "Locker 13," an anthology feature film in which she will be featured alongside Krista Allen and Jason Marsden. She also released her latest single, "It's All Right," in 2008.
YoungStar: Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Comedy TV Series, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” 1997
Image: Outstanding Youth Actor/Actress, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” 1996
Young Artist: Best Young Actress Starring in a New Television Series, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” 1991