‘Every Young Man Needs An Uncle Phil:’ Will Smith Pays Tribute To Former Co-Star James Avery

January 6, 2014  |  

Last week the world was shocked to learn about the passing of actor James Avery, who was most known for his role as Uncle Phil on popular 90s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Through the years, several cast members from the show have expressed that they formed somewhat of a familial bond with one another, so it’s no surprise that James’ passing hit them pretty hard. Will Smith recently took to Facebook to share a brief farewell message to his former co-star.

“Some of my greatest lessons in Acting, Living and being a respectable human being came through James Avery,” Will wrote. “Every young man needs an Uncle Phil. Rest in Peace.”

Will also shared a photo of himself with the cast of “Fresh Prince” the last time they were all together.

“This photo was the last time we were together,” he captioned the photo.

Other “Fresh Prince” stars including Alfonso Ribeiro, Tatyanna Ali and Janet Hubert have also taken to social media and other outlets to publicly express their condolences. As previously reported, James passed away after experiencing complications from open heart surgery. He was 68 years old.

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