Ribeiro was born in New York City to Joy and Michael Ribeiro. His parents are from Trinidad and Tobago. Ribeiro married Robin Stapler in 2002, after they met on the set of In the House in 1999. Divorce papers were filed August 9, 2006 in Los Angeles Superior Court, citing irreconcilable differences. The couple share joint custody of their daughter, Sienna Ribeiro. Ribeiro is currently in a relationship with Angela Unkrich.
Ribeiro began his career at the age of eight. He first gained recognition in 1983, when he played a leading role in the Broadway musical The Tap Dance Kid. He received positive reviews for his performance, and was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award. He also appeared in one of Michael Jackson's Pepsi television commercials as a dancer in 1984. The same year, Ribeiro was cast as Rick Schroder's best friend on the TV series Silver Spoons. Ribeiro's most notable role was that of spoiled, rich Carlton Banks in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from 1990 to 1996. He played the cousin to Will Smith's lead character; Ribeiro also directed some episodes of Fresh Prince. The Carlton character was known for frequently dancing to Tom Jones' "It's Not Unusual," a dance move that gained infamy as "The Carlton Dance". Ribeiro began hosting the game show Catch 21 on GSN.
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