It took some time but Will Smith finally opened up about the death of his “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” co-star James Avery who played his Uncle Phil on the beloved 90s sitcom.
“Some of my greatest lessons in Acting, Living and being a respectable human being came through James Avery. Every young man needs an Uncle Phil. Rest in Peace,” Smith wrote on Facebook with the last photo taken of the cast, including: Tatyana Ali, Alfonso Ribiero, Karyn Parsons and Avery who wore a cheeky smile.
Avery died on New Year’s Eve at the age of 68 following complications from open heart surgery. Tatyana Ali responded to his death on Twitter, “James was my teacher my protector & the most magnificent actor. We’re feeling his loss very deeply. He’ll always be apart of me.”
Alfonso Ribiero, who played Carlton Banks on “The Fresh Prince,” said: “I’m deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly.”