She and her fiancé called off the wedding, but Talita chose to stay in Los Angeles. She graduated from Westchester High School in Los Angeles in 1989. Patrol alongside Sean Astin, Tim Thomerson and Brian Keith. The film excited Long, who was doing her "first real movie role". "It introduced me to the world in a way that it was okay for me to be who I am and still find success," she added.
Long's acting coach was Betty Bridges, better known as the mother of Diff'rent Strokes star Todd Bridges. Her first notable role on television was a three-year contract role as Kathryn "Kat" Speakes on the soap opera Guiding Light. "I didn’t have to conform to anything." From 1994 – 1995, she played Will Smith's girlfriend and fiancée Beulah "Lisa" Wilkes on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Unlike the original film, however, her character is in an interracial relationship with a white man.
Long was revealed to have pursuing an interracial relationship in the film and explained: "We're living in a modern world where it happens and it's OK and it's no disrespect to any black man.
She is best known for her roles in the television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Third Watch, and the films In Too Deep, Boyz n the Hood, Friday, Boiler Room, Soul Food, Love Jones, The Best Man, Big Momma's House, Are We There Yet? She also had a starring role in Friday with Ice Cube and Chris Tucker.