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Tatyana Ali

Tatyana Ali. You may not know the name, but the face is almost certainly familiar. It's a face we've watched grow up before our very eyes on the weekly television comedy The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. In her role as Ashley, the younger sister of the family, we saw her blossom and bloom, growing from exuberant pre-teen to sophisticated young woman over the seasons.

Her resume reads like that of someone who's spent their entire lifetime honing their craft. Perhaps that's because she has. "I've been performing since I was four," she smiles. When meeting Tatyana in person, one is surprised how someone so beautiful could be capable of generating a charm and appeal that is so immediately approachable and familiar, so very girl-next-door. She is the product of a Trinidadian East Indian father and a Panamanian mother, yet her essence, both onscreen and in real life, is as warmly all-American as the proverbial apple pie.

Equally all-American is her success story, one rooted in hard work and perseverance through the years. "I did theatre in New York, where I had to sing, dance and act," she continues. Her early stage experience was primarily dramatic, including "Fences," August Wilson's acclaimed Broadway production in which she co-starred with the legendary Billy Dee Williams and understudied with James Earl Jones. She appeared on Star Search, at the age of seven, where her vocal talent steered her to victory through two rounds in the singing competition.

By age eleven, Tatyana's talent had taken her all the way to Hollywood, where she quickly landed a role in the television series The Fresh Prince of Bel/ Air. The sitcom was a hit throughout its six seasons with Tatyana's ever-maturing presence a highlight up until the final episode.

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