The world lost its Uncle Phil on Dec. 31, when ‘Fresh Prince’ star James Avery died after suffering complications from a heart surgery. His costars from the beloved ’90s Will Smith sitcom have publicly reached out, offering their condolences on social media.
James Avery became a ’90s icon when he gave Will Smith the hug that shed a billion tears on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The beloved actor died at the age of 68 on Dec. 31 in Los Angeles due to complications from heart surgery, and now his TV family has reached out to share their grief on social media.
James Avery’s ‘Fresh Prince’ Family Grieves On Twitter
Alfonso Ribeiro, who played James’ son Carlton on Fresh Prince, first publicly confirmed the actor’s death on Twitter:
I’m deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly. pic.twitter.com/UrW0EeBFbO
— Alfonso Ribeiro (@alfonso_ribeiro) January 1, 2014
He also mourned on Facebook, writing “The world has lost a truly special man. I am very saddened to say that James Avery has passed. Even though he played my father on TV, he was a wonderful father figure to me in life. He will be deeply missed.”
Series star Will Smith — who is not currently active on social media — has remained silent, but his wife Jada Pinkett Smith posted a sweet message on her Facebook account:
“Happy New Year everyone! I was hoping to start the new year differently but we have lost yet another friend. James Avery who we all lovingly know as Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince has passed. Our condolences to aunt Florence (his mother), Miss Barbara (his wife) and all those who loved him. Rest in peace James. J’
Tatyana Ali, who played James’ daughter Ashley on the show, reached out on Twitter on Jan. 1:
James was my teacher my protector & the most magnificent actor. We’re feeling his loss very deeply. He’ll always be apart of me #JamesAvery
— Tatyana Ali (@TatyanaAli) January 1, 2014
HollywoodLife.com sends thoughts and prayers to James’ friends and family during this difficult time.
— Shaunna Murphy