‘Fresh Prince’ revisited: The women Will dated on the show

From Nia Long to Pam Grier, here's a list of some of the biggest names Will dated in the original run

With the new take on the classic ’90s sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, set to air on Super Bowl Sunday, fans are getting ready to be reintroduced to Will, Aunt Viv, Uncle Phil, and more. But before we dive into the reboot, theGrio is here to take a look back at the original series, specifically the many women you may have forgotten Will dated in the original run.

Lisa Wilkes (Nia Long)

Of course, we have to start with Nia Long, who played Lisa Wilkes, Will’s longest-standing girlfriend on the series. Appearing on 15 episodes in the fifth season, Wilkes formed a special bond with Will, almost walking down the aisle with him twice. Interestingly enough, Long had previously appeared on the show in its second season as a completely different character, Claudia.

In a 2015 oral history from Complex, Long opened up about her time on the show, sharing, “Lisa was so spicy. I look back at some of those episodes like, ‘Wow, I really needed to tone down the attitude.’ I didn’t even know I was sassy back then, I was just being me. I’m still sassy, I’m still spicy, I’m still edgy. I still have that—it’s the heart of who I am.”

Jackie Ames (Tyra Banks)

Banks joined the series for seven episodes in 1993 as Will’s ex-girlfriend, Jackie Ames. In of the most interesting dynamics on the show, Will and Jackie were hilariously similar, often using the same arguing tactics and phrases at the same time.

Check out one of their biggest scenes below:

Helen (Naomi Campbell)

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Naomi Cambell at the Dior Homme Fall/Winter 2022/2023 show during Paris Fashion Week on Jan. 21, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images)

Banks wasn’t the first supermodel to appear as one of Will’s love interests in the series. Back in the first season, Naomi Campbell appeared as Helen, who Will initially tried to set up with the family’s butler, Geoffrey. Will takes a liking to Helen, however, and interjects himself, trying desperately to win her over on the dance floor.

Dee Dee (Queen Latifah)

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Actors Queen Latifah (L) and Will Smith pose at the premiere of MGM’s “Barbershop 2: Back in Business” at the Chinese Theatre on Jan. 20, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

How could we forget Dee Dee? Queen Latifah guest-starred in the second season of the series as Will’s blind date. After a rocky start, Will is able to win Dee Dee over again later in the episode when the two share a long (and hilarious) glance across a dance floor.

Veronica/Sandra (Garcelle Beauvais)

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Garcelle Beauvais attends the UNICEF At 75 Celebration at NeueHouse Los Angeles on Nov. 30, 2021 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Before she was Fancy on The Jamie Foxx Show, Garcelle Beauvais appeared twice on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Her first character, Veronica, gently lets Will down when he shoots his shot with her in the episode. Years later, she returns to the series as Sandra, who goes on a double date with Will, Carlton, and her friend Tiffany.

Denise (Robin Givens)

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Robin Givens visits SiriusXM Studios on Nov. 20, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

While Will was engaged to Lisa (Nia Long), he gave Lisa’s friend Denise (Robin Givens) a ride home, in what would become one of the funniest scenes in the series. After getting her back to her place, Denise comes onto Will in multiple ways, which Will dodges every single time. While he did not officially date Denise, Givens’ memorable performance makes her a stand out in the long list of women Will encountered.

Janet (Vivica A. Fox)

In an episode during the show’s first season, Will dates Janet, played by Vivica A. Fox. While on a date, Janet is revealed to be a bit controlling, dictating what Will orders, how he interacts with the waitress, and more. While it does not work out for the two of them, Fox certainly makes a lasting impression with her material.

Kathleen (Tisha Campbell)

A year before Martin would premiere, Tisha Campbell starred in the 1991 episode, “Did the Earth Move For You” as Kathleen, his new girlfriend. In the episode, Kathleen and Will quickly realize they may not be a perfect match for each other when they are stuck in a basement together.

Check out the classic clip below:

Janice (Pam Grier)

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Pam Grier at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on Jan. 8, 2020 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

This one may be the biggest doozy of all! In a shocking (and of course, funny) moment in the series, Will is introduced to Janice, one of Uncle Phil’s old flames, played by Pam Grier. While he’s originally supposed to connect with her daughter played by Elise Neal, Will hooks up with Janice instead. What ensues is a jaw-dropping reveal that has everyone, especially Uncle Phil, reeling.

Danny (Vanessa Williams)

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WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 03: Multi-platinum recording artist and star of television, film and the Broadway stage Vanessa Williams performs for “A Capitol Fourth,” live from Washington, DC, airing Sunday on PBS July 04, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Capital Concerts)

Season 3 saw Vanessa Williams guest star in the series as Danny, a pregnant sports journalist friend of Aunt Viv’s who invites Will to a Lakers game. While he technically does not date Williams’ character, they do take an unforgettable limo ride together back from the game, where Danny unexpectedly goes into labor.

Michelle Michaels (Stacey Dash)

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BURBANK, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 07: Actress Stacey Dash attends The Diaspora Dialogues’ 3rd Annual International Women Of Power Luncheon at Arbat Banquet Hall on March 07, 2020 in Burbank, California. (Photo by JC Olivera/Getty Images)

A year before Clueless would debut in theaters, Stacey Dash appeared on “Fresh Prince” as Michelle Michaels, pop star. In classic Will fashion, he nabs a date with the major celebrity, but quickly realizes Michaels is not truly wanting something long term from him.

Kayla Samuels (Jasmine Guy)

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BEVERLY HILLS – MAY 19: Actress Jasmine Guy speaks at the Triumph of the Spirit Awards Gala by Aviva Family and Children’s Services May 19, 2005 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Phil McCarten/Getty Images)

Guy appeared in the first season of the series as Kayla Samuels, one of Aunt Viv’s students. While Will and Samuels hit it off quickly, he soon begins to take her away from her studies, something that Aunt Viv powerfully points out to the both of them.

The Fresh Prince reboot, Bel-Air, will drop its first three episodes on Peacock this Sunday.

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