Will Smith Mourns Phil Avery’s Death: ‘Every Young Man Needs An Uncle Phil’


Will Smith broke his silence to reflect on the death of his co-star James Avery, who played Uncle Phil in the hit sitcom Fresh Prince Bel-Air.

“Some of my greatest lessons in Acting, Living and being a respectable human being came through James Avery,” he said in a Facebook post Sunday (Jan. 5) before sharing a photo of the last time the cast was altogether (below). “Every young man needs an Uncle Phil. Rest in Peace.”

ALSO SEE: More Than Uncle Phil: 7 Other Roles That James Avery Played

Other Fresh Prince stars also took to social media to reflect on Avery’s impact, like Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Avery’s son Carlton Banks.

“The world has lost a truly special man. I am very saddened to say that James Avery has passed,” Ribeiro posted on his Facebook. “Even though he played my father on TV, he was a wonderful father figure to me in life. He will be deeply missed.”

Avery died of complications from open-heart surgery. He was 65.