A week after James Avery's passing, his co-star on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" Will Smith broke silence on Avery's death. The star of "The Pursuit of Happyness" took to Facebook on Sunday, January 5 to pay tribute to Avery and share a photo of him and Avery which was taken the last time they were together.
"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. In addition to Smith and Avery, other "Fresh Prince" cast members Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons and Alfonso Ribeiro make appearance in the snap. "This photo was the last time we were together," Smith wrote. According to Huffington Post, it was taken at a luncheon for Parsons' charity Sweet Blackberry in 2011.
Avery passed away at a Los Angeles hospital on December 31 due to complications from open-heart surgery. He was 68. The late actor played Smith's uncle Philip Banks for six seasons.
After learning of the news, Jada Pinkett Smith and Ribeiro paid tribute in social media. "Our condolences to aunt Florence (his mother), Miss Barbara (his wife) and all those who loved him," the mother of two wrote on her Facebook. Ribeiro who played Avery's son on the show tweeted, "I'm deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly."