Karyn Parsons decided to go into acting at the age of 13. She had her first TV role in the NBC drama The Bronx Zoo (1987), but she made her big break as Will Smith's cousin "Hilary Banks" on the NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990). During the show's six-year run, she starred in movies such as Class Act (1992) and Major Payne (1995). After The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990), she starred in the short-lifted sitcom Lush Life (1996), co-starring Lori Petty, which only lasted three episodes before it was canceled. In 1998, she starred in her first lead role in the award-winning movie Mixing Nia (1998). She guest-starred in TV sitcoms before starring in 13 Moons (2002), in which she met her husband, director Alexandre Rockwell, whom she married in 2003. After their wedding, they had a child and now live in New York.