The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air

Viola "Vy" Smith is a recurring character on The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air. She is portrayed by Vernee Watson


Vy is Will's mother and the oldest of the Smith sisters. Because of her marriage to Fred Wilkes[1], she is also the stepmother of his daughter, Lisa Wilkes. She is also the ex-wife of Lou Smith.


She was married to Lou Smith, but he left her and Will when he was five years old, forcing her to raise her only child in poverty. She is the one who had sent Will to live in Bel-Air with his aunt and uncle to avoid the dangers of ghetto life in their West Philadelphia neighbourhood. She would make sporadic appearances throughout each of the seasons, namely coming to visit Will or participate in family events. Episodes that revolved around her included considering Will's move to California from Pennsylvania working too well, in which she wanted him out of crime and poverty, but not to the point where he had a pampered lifestyle, causing her to clash with Vivian. Another time she came for her sister's wedding, only to be enraged at an interracial marriage. However, after taking Will's words about how you can't control everything into consideration, she accepts her sister's marriage and gave her new brother-in-law a chance.

She later married Fred Wilkes, the father of Will's girlfriend Lisa, soon turned ex-fiancée turned stepsister, during the Season 5 finale.

Like Vivian Banks, Viola Smith was played by different actors, and was shown in the opening credits. However, the mother in the opening scene who utters the famous line "You're moving with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air" was played by a different actress, wearing curlers and horned-rimmed glasses. The mother who often appeared was more stylish, as opposed to the mother shown in the intro, who was more akin to Will's askew view of his mom being naggy and frumpy.



  • According to Vivian, she is most stubborn and hardheaded among her sisters. Vy didn't know this until she was told.
  • Her maiden name is the same as her married name.
    • It is also possible Lou took her name.