Jan. 24th, 1979
North Bellmore, Long Island, New York, USA
Tatyana Ali's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
On January 24th 1979, Tatyana Marisol Ali was born to Sonia, who was a nurse from Panama and Sheriff Ali, a retired police officer from Trinidad. At the age of four she started singing and got a taste of fame when she begged her mother to take her to an audition for Sesame Street.
She went on to perform in many productions in her native city, New York, including the Broadway show Fences with James Earl Jones and later Billy Dee Williams, and the off-Broadway show Orfeo del Campo. When she was seven she appeared on Star Search and won twice, receiving a four star rating when she appeared for a second time. At the age of eleven Tatyana moved from New York to Los Angeles for her breakthrough role and to established her career. Most of us know her as Will Smith's cousin as Ashley Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
While filming The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, she also had interesting side projects, including guest roles in television shows such as The Cosby Show, The Mickey Mouse Club, Kyno's Storytime, Are you Afraid of the Dark?, and the television movie Mr. Foster's Field Trip. During this time she grew up in front the public and sang in several episodes most notably her rendition of Aretha Franklin's Respect and the original song Make up your mind. Her co-star 'Will Smith' was so impressed he asked Ali if she would consider doing this for real. Tatyana began preparing for her singing career during the last year of the show as she began training her vocal chords, recording demos, and publicly performing on television and in various informal live concerts. Her performances in The Fresh Prince actually assisted her build a fan base that anxiously waited for her first album launch.
On the 25th of August she released her album Kiss the Sky and single Daydreamin'. Her single was certified Gold within weeks of its release and it quickly rose into the Billboard 100 Hot Singles, where it peaked at number six for two weeks. Ali also contributed to major movies such as Crocodile Dundee II and Eddy Murphy's Raw. Since then, she has had large roles in two movies, Fall into Darkness and Fakin da Funk, a feature film from 1997. She has also guest-starred in several sitcoms, including In the House, and had a cameo role in the film Kiss the Girls. She also went to Harvard and graduated with a degree in Anthropology in June 2002. She is now working on her new album as well as starring in more movies.
- Released her first CD, Kiss the Sky, in 1998 and released music video's for Boy You Knock Me Out, Daydreamin and Everytime to promote her debut album Kiss The Sky in 1998.
- Her favorite actors are Spencer Tracey and Humphrey Bogart
- Appeared on Star Search in 1987 and was Junior Vocalist Champion
- Has worked with Jenifer Lewis three times: "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" (1990), The Brothers (2001) and most recently Nora's Hair Salon (2004).
- Admires Oprah Winfrey
- Has worked with Tamala Jones twice, once in The Brothers (2001) and again in Nora's Hair Salon (2004).
- Mother is a Black Panamanian; father is from Trinidad and of East Indian descent.
- Is still good friends with Will Smith.