Jasmine Guy (born March 10, 1962) starred on A Different World as college student Whitley Gilbert, appearing in 141 of the 151 episodes of the series.

Early lifeEdit

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, to an African-American father and White-American mother,[1] Jasmine was raised in the affluent historic Collier Heights neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia, where she attended what was then called the Northside Performing Arts High School, later renamed North Atlanta High School. Her mother, the former Jaye Rudolph (born 1930), was a former high-school teacher, and her father, the Reverend William Guy (born 1928), was pastor of the historic Friendship Baptist Church of Atlanta, which served as an early home to Spelman College; he was also a college instructor in philosophy and religion.[2] At the age of seventeen, Jasmine moved to New York City to study dance at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center.[3]


Television rolesEdit

Guy began her television career with a non-speaking role, as a dancer, in seven episodes of the 1982 television series Fame under the direction of choreographer Debbie Allen.[4] Following a move to California, she appeared in a 1991 episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as Kayla, one of Will Smith's girlfriends.

In 1992, Guy appeared in CBS's Stompin' at the Savoy alongside Vanessa Williams, again under the direction of Debbie Allen,[5] and in 1993, she played the mother of Halle Berry's character in the CBS TV mini-series Alex Haley's Queen. This was based on Haley's book Queen: The Story of an American Family, a companion volume to his earlier Roots: The Saga of an American Family, which itself had been converted to a television mini-series.

In 1995, Jasmine appeared as Peter Burns's love interest, Caitlin Mills, on two episodes of the FOX TV series Melrose Place, and in 1996, she appeared on Living Single, playing a psychologist advising Khadijah, who had begun exhibiting symptoms of anxiety.

She also played the recurring role of Kathleen, a fallen angel, in the CBS Network drama Touched by an Angel from 1995 to 1997. In 2002, Guy lent her voice to the PBS math-based animated series Cyberchase, performing Ava, the queen of the cybersite Symmetria, and made a cameo appearance on the Moesha spin-off The Parkers. In 2003, Ms. Guy read as Mary Estes Peters in the HBO documentary, Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narrative, a documentary which premiered during Black History month. The slave narratives were based on the WPA slave interviews conducted during the 1930s with over two-thousand former slaves.

A Different WorldEdit

Template:Main article More than 20 years after the series' sixth and final season, Guy today remains best known for her starring role as Whitley Gilbert in the television sitcom A Different World.[6] A spin-off from The Cosby Show and created by Cosby himself, the show aired from 1987 to 1993 on NBC. Guy wrote three episodes of the show and directed one, in addition to appearing in every episode: she started as a co-star, but ended up replacing the show's original star Lisa Bonet, who left the series.

Jasmine was nominated for and won four consecutive NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, from 1990 to 1993.


  1. Thompson, Kevin D.. "Jasmine Guy: Flashback Friday - The star of "A Different World" on being Whitley, her impending divorce, and growing up biracial", Essence, 2008-07-30. 
  3. Bernstein, Fred. "After Years of Trying to Fit In, Actress Jasmine Guy at Last Finds Happiness in A Different World", People Magazine, 1987-11-09, pp. Vol. 28, No. 19. Retrieved on 2012-01-26. 
  4. Buck, Jerry. "Jasmine Guy Brings Life ro 'World'", Tri-City Herald, 1988-01-17, pp. 39. Retrieved on 2012-01-30. 
  5. "Dreams Of Long Ago", Chicago Tribune, 1992-04-12. Retrieved on 2012-01-26. 
  6. Whitley's World: A Brief History of Bad and Boujee Black Girl Style. ESPN (September 21, 2017). Retrieved on September 25, 2017.

External linksEdit