Page semi-protected

Janet Hubert

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Janet Hubert
Janet Louise Hubert

(1956-01-13) January 13, 1956 (age 64)
EducationJuilliard School
Years active1986–present
James Whitten
(m. 1990⁠–⁠1994)

Larry Kraft
(m. 2005)

Janet Louise Hubert (born January 13, 1956)[1] is an American film and television actress. She is best known for playing the role of the original Vivian Banks on the sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from its first season in 1990 until the end of its third season in 1993. Hubert was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in 1991.[2] Her performance as Mignon on the digital series King Ester garnered her first Daytime Emmy Award nomination in 2020.[3]

Early life

Hubert was born in Chicago, Illinois and spent her early days growing up on Chicago's South Side.[1] At the age of nine she moved with her family to rural Chicago.[1] She won a scholarship to the Juilliard School in New York City, but did not complete her studies.[1]

Personal life

Hubert was married to James Whitten from 1990 to 1994; they had a son, Elijah Isaac Whitten. She has been married to Larry Kraft since 2005. She suffers from osteoporosis and is the ambassador of the National Osteoporosis Foundation.[4]


After performing in the national tour of Dancin',[5] Hubert made her Broadway debut in 1981, in the ensemble of The First, a short-lived musical about Jackie Robinson.[6] Hubert created the role of Tantomile in the original Broadway production of Cats, and also understudied Grizabella and Demeter.[7] She left Cats in April of 1983 to star in the national tour of Sophisticated Ladies, opposite Dee Dee Bridgewater and Gregg Burge.[8] Hubert played Aunt Viv on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the role she is most known for. After she was allegedly fired by the makers of The Fresh Prince, Hubert's character was recast and played by Daphne Maxwell Reid for the remainder of the show's run. According to Will Smith, the show's star, he and Hubert had difficulties working together long before her pregnancy.[9]

She was featured in a 2002 episode of Friends as Chandler's boss. In 2005, she began playing the recurring role of Lisa Williamson, mother of attorney Evangeline Williamson, on One Life to Live. Her character has made occasional appearances since then. She was featured as Michel Gerard's mother in an episode of the CW show Gilmore Girls. She has made appearances on episodes of All My Children, NYPD Blue, The Bernie Mac Show, and Tyler Perry's House of Payne, among others. In November 2018, it was announced that Hubert had been cast on the daytime soap opera, General Hospital; she made her debut as Yvonne on December 7, 2018.[10][11] She also appeared in the Fresh Prince Reunion which aired on HBO Max in November 2020 and around this time appeared in a joint radio interview with Smith where the two appeared to reconcile.[12][13] More information and context were offered regarding the situation between Smith and Hubert and her exit when the two met for their conversation. Hubert discussed the turmoil in her personal life, her abusive marriage, and that she had not actually been fired by the show. She was offered what she described as a "bad deal" to return for the fourth season and she turned it down. Will talked about how his youth and learning to deal with his rapidly increasing fame lead him to make decisions during that time that he now regrets and wishes he had made differently.[14]


Year Title Role Notes
1988 21 Jump Street Councilwoman Travers Episode: "Fun with Animals"
1989 A Man Called Hawk Serita Episode: "Poison"
1990 Tales from the Crypt Psyche Episode: "Till Death"
1992 Reasonable Doubts Judge Mary Sims Episode: "Brother's Keeper"
1990–1993 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Vivian Banks 73 episodes
1994 Dave's World Episode: "Shel in Love"
1995 White Man's Burden Dinner Guest
1996 The Faculty Annette Freeman Episode: "Somewhere There's Music"
1997 The Jamie Foxx Show Edwina DuBois Episode: "Act Like You Love Me"
Goode Behavior Dr. Pamela Fordham Episode: "Goode Lovin'"
1998 NYPD Blue Hiruut Kebede Episode: "Weaver of Hate"
1999 All My Children Alice Dawson Selected episodes
2001 30 Years to Life Joy's mother
2001–2002 The Job Adina Phillips 4 episodes
2002 The Weakest Link Herself 4th one voted off
Gilmore Girls Gisele Gerard Episode: "Back in the Saddle Again"
Friends Ms. McKenna Episode: "The One Where Emma Cries"
2004 Neurotica The Neighbor
2003–2004 The Bernie Mac Show Leora 2 episodes: "Meet the Grandparents" and "Make Room for Caddy"
2004 Proud Larry's mother
Christmas at Water's Edge Mrs. Turner TV film
2005, 2007 & 2010 One Life to Live Lisa Williamson 9 episodes
2011 Tyler Perry's House of Payne Evelyn Episode: "A Mother's Payne"
2015 Life Twirls On Aunt Lorraine TV series
2016 No Letting Go Dr. Stacey Slater Film
Ward of the State Diana Ward Film
Not Another Black Movie Aunt Gloria Film
2017 Marcus Garvey Biopic Sarah Jane Richards Film
2018–present General Hospital Yvonne Godfrey
2019–present King Ester Mignon Pappion

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2013 Grand Theft Auto V Denise Clinton


Year Nominee/work Award Category Result
2014 Grand Theft Auto V Behind the Voice Actors Award Best Vocal Ensemble in a Video Game Nominated
2020 King Ester Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Digital Drama Series


  1. ^ a b c d "Janet Hubert Biography". Biography. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  2. ^ Tango: Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Awards and Nominations
  3. ^ Hipes, Patrick. "Daytime Emmy Nominations: 'General Hospital', 'Sesame Street', 'The View' Top List; CBS, Amazon Prime Lead Networks". Deadline. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  4. ^ McCann, Bob (2010). Encyclopedia of African American Actresses in Film and Television. McFarland & Company. p. 170. ISBN 9780786437900.
  5. ^ "Dancin' – Broadway Musical – 1980-1983 Tour | IBDB". Retrieved 2020-11-22.
  6. ^ The Broadway League. "The First – Broadway Musical – Original | IBDB". Retrieved 2020-11-22.
  7. ^ "Cats". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
  8. ^ "Sophisticated Ladies – Broadway Musical – 1983-1983 Tour | IBDB". Retrieved 2020-11-22.
  9. ^ "Smith, Whitten Feud Over Her 'Fresh Prince' Exit", Jet, Johnson Publishing Company, p. 59, 30 August 1993, ISSN 0021-5996
  10. ^ Rice, Lynette (November 18, 2018). "General Hospital casts Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actress Janet Hubert". Entertainment Weekly. United States: Time Inc. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  11. ^ SOD (November 18, 2018). "GH Taps Fresh Prince Alum". Soap Opera Digest. United States: American Media, Inc. Odyssey Magazine Publishing Group Inc. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^, 18 November 2020 Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links