James Avery's 'Fresh Prince' Co-Stars Have Touching Words to Say After His Death
As you may have heard, The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air star James Avery passed away this week at the age of 68. He left behind his wife, his mother, and his stepson, as well as a legacy and a whole host of brokenhearted castmembers. That latter group has taken to the public remembrance of Avery, as has become customary, so let's go on that journey with them, shall we?
Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Avery's son Carlton on the show — still most famous for his legendary dance moves — was one of the first to mention Avery's passing online, tweeting out the message that "I'm deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly," along with a photo of Avery and his wife.
Tatyana Ali, who played another of Avery's on-screen children (the adorable-then-hot Ashley Banks), also tweeted a remembrance:
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.
As did Jeffrey "DJ Jazzy Jeff" Townes, whom Fresh Prince fans might remember as Will's best friend Jazz, whom Avery's character would often boot out of the house:
RIP James Avery…Thank U for the talks, travel tips and the jazz cd’s. A great Friend and Even Better Person…You will be Missed!! #FPOB
Another one? Tyra Banks, who appeared in eight episodes of the show as Jackie Ames, one of Will's friends/past girlfriends from West Philadelphia (born and raised):
Sending condolences to the family of James Avery, ‘Uncle Phil’ of the Fresh Prince. I’ll always remember how warm he was to me on set.
Also Jada Pinket Smith, who did not appear on the show but has a pretty obvious connection to it, as she is married to Will Smith. She wrote this on her Facebook:
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.
One's memory is, of course, not to be encapsulated perfectly in tweets and Facebook messages from your former castmembers — but it's touching, nonetheless, to see the ways in which Avery touched people during his lifetime.