Hollywood actor, producer and rapper Will Smith honoured his "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" Uncle Phil and late co-star James Avery by posting a picture of the sitcom's cast on his Facebook account on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. Included in the photo with Smith and Avery are their co-stars from the 1990 NBC show such as Tatyana M. Ali who played Ashley Banks, Alfonso Ribeiro who played Carlton Banks and Karyn Parsons who played Hilary Banks. Smith indicated in his Facebook post that the said picture (undated) of the "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" cast with James Avery was the last time that they were together. Click HERE to see the photo.
Smith included a touching message about Avery along with the photo that he posted on his official Facebook account.
"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," wrote Smith in his Facebook account.
"This photo was the last time we were together," he added.
The picture shows Smith and Avery with their arms around each other with big smiles on their faces as they looked at the camera. Ali and Ribeiro are also grinning in the photograph, while Parsons had a coy smile on her face.
Aside from Smith, Ali and Ribeiro also paid tribute to Avery in their Twitter accounts. Check out their tweets below.
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
Even Will's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, posted on her own Facebook account about Avery's death. ClickHEREto see it.
Avery died on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 after he went through an open-heart surgery at the Glendale Adventist Medical Center in California. He was 68 years old.
According to Wikipedia, Avery was born on November 27, 1945 in Pughsville, Hampton Roads, Virginia and was raised in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He was a member of the U.S. Navy from 1968-1969 and was part of the Vietnam War. After serving in the U.S. Navy, he went to San Diego, California to become a writer.
But, fate had other plans for him and he eventually became an actor both on television (TV) and in the movies. He also did some voice acting on the side. In fact, he was the voice of the villain Shredder in the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series. He also appeared on the TV shows "Dallas," "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," and "That '70s Show."
Avery's "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" character was ranked by TV Guide as one of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time." Uncle Philip "Phil" Banks was #34 in the said list.
A lot of people have wondered how Will Smith reacted to his Uncle Phil's death. For a time, he was probably silently mourning Avery's demise, but by posting a picture of the "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" cast with their late costar James Avery, along with a touching message about his impact on Will's life, he showed the world that he truly misses Avery and is grateful that they were a part of each other's lives.