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Tamara Mowry Was Rejected for This Role on 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' but Landed 'Sister, Sister' Instead

We all know Tamera Mowry-Housley for her roles on Sister, Sister, the film franchise, Twitches, and the reality show, Tia & Tamera where she starred with her identical twin sister, Tia Mowry-Hardrick.

While Sister, Sister, put the Mowrys on the map, they were also able to carve out solo careers for themselves with Mowry-Housley portraying Dr. Kayla Thornton on the medical drama Strong Medicine. She was also a co-host of the long-running talk show The Real for six seasons.

However, there was one mega-popular role that Mowry-Housley desperately wanted that she never got.

Tamara Mowry audition to play Ashley Banks on ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’

On The Real, the former co-host revealed that she was crushed when she didn’t snag the part of Ashley Banks which ultimately went to Tatyana Ali. On The Fresh Prince, Ashley is Will Smith’s youngest cousin, and the youngest daughter of Vivian and Philip Banks.

Though there is a pretty significant age gap between Will and Ashley and he often acted like an overbearing big brother, they had the most in common, and they are able to form a close-knit bond.

Getting rejected for ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ helped Tamara Mowry land ‘Sister, Sister’

Obviously, when you work really hard for something and it doesn’t come to fruition, the disappointment could leave you feeling helpless. However, things worked out in Mowry’s favor. Though Fresh Prince was ultimately not for her, it opened the door for Sister, Sister which skyrocketed her to fame. She revealed on an episode of The Real,

I audition for Ashley Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Yes, you guys, I had studied so hard. I wanted that job so bad, but if I would have been doing that, I would have never got the role for Sister, Sister. There would be no Sister, Sister because Fresh Prince of Bel-Air went on for so many years that our shows actually crossed each other. I remember visiting the set and seeing Tatyana Ali, and she played that role perfectly, and I’m a true believer of what’s for you, you will get in the right time. So, I’m actually happy that it never happened because I got to do a show with my twin sister, Sister, Sister.

ABC took a chance on ‘Sister, Sister’

Four years after The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air debuted on NBC, ABC picked Sister, Sister up as a mid-season replacement for a show that wasn’t doing well. Set in Detroit and staring, identical twins, Tia and Tamera Mowrey the series follows Tia Landry and Tamera Campbell.

Separated at birth, Tia was adopted by a single mother, Lisa (Jackee Harry ) while Tamera was adopted by a couple, but her adoptive mother sadly passed away so she was raised by her widower father, Ray (Tim Ried). The girls accidentally run into one another and their parents decide to raise them together.

The series was a hit immediately, following the twins from age 14 through their college years. It ran for six seasons with the final episode airing in May 1999. The NAACP Image and Emmy Award-Winning series put the Mowrys on the map, launching them into showbusiness.

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