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Janet Hubert

Janet Hubert

American film and television actress
Janet Hubert
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American film and television actress
Is Actor Television actor Film actor Stage actor
From United States of America
Type Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender female
Birth 13 January 1956, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Age 65 years
Star sign Capricorn
Juilliard School
Peoplepill ID janet-hubert
The details


Janet Louise Hubert (born January 13, 1956) 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. Her performance as Mignon on the digital series King Ester garnered her first Daytime Emmy Award nomination in 2020.

Early life

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


After performing in the national tour of Dancin', Hubert made her Broadway debut in 1981, in the ensemble of The First, a short-lived musical about Jackie Robinson. Hubert created the role of Tantomile in the original Broadway production of Cats, and also understudied Grizabella and Demeter. She left Cats in April of 1983 to star in the national tour of Sophisticated Ladies, opposite Dee Dee Bridgewater and Gregg Burge. 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.

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.

Hubert appeared in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion on HBO Max in November 2020. In a private conversation for the special, she and Smith spoke for the first time since her departure from the show. More information and context was offered regarding the situation and her exit. Hubert discussed issues in her personal life, her abusive marriage and revealed she had not actually been fired from the show as largely believed; she was offered a "bad deal" to return for the fourth season, a deal she turned down. Smith spoke about how he was neither "sensitive" nor "perceptive" to Hubert's situation and that he was very young and immature at that time. Being a parent now, however, has taught him how to understand what she was dealing with. Smith assured Hubert he wishes he had acted differently and apologized for his actions. In the end, the two appeared to reconcile. Hubert then joined the rest of the guests at the reunion.

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.


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
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 07 Jan 2021. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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