Will smith james avery rip

Will Smith Honors His
Late ‘Fresh Prince of
Bel Air’ Costar James
Avery on Facebook


Will Smith has broken his silence about the death of his Fresh Prince of Bel Air costar James Avery.

The 45-year-old actor shared a photo of the last time he was with his on-screen uncle, and wrote, “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.”


On Dec. 31, James passed away from complications following an open-heart surgery; he was 68. The late actor was best known for playing Uncle Phil, fictionalized Will’s upper class, strict uncle and Banks family patriarch who took the rebellious Will in after he got in trouble in his native Philadelphia.

WATCH: Uncle Phil’s 9 Most Memorable Fresh Prince Moments!

In the days since his passing, many of James’ Fresh Prince costars have reached out to honor the television giant. Based on their reaction, it seems that the late star affected everyone that came on set, from the Alfonso Ribiero, Tatyana Ali and Ross Bagley—who all played his children—to Tyra Banks, who had a recurring role.

See what they had to say about James’ passing.