James Avery dies: Cast of Fresh Prince of Bel Air pay tribute to late actor, except Will Smith
Will Smith, the star of the hit 90s sitcom, is yet to vocalise his condolences, leaving it up to wife Jada Pinkett-Smith to make a public statement
Alfonso Ribeiro and Tatyana Ali have paid public tribute to their on-screen father, James ‘Uncle Phil’ Avery.
But the star of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Will Smith, is yet to vocalise his condolences, leaving it up to wife Jada Pinkett-Smith to make a public statement about the actor’s death following open heart surgery.
Taking to her Facebook page last night, Pinkett Smith posted, perhaps on her husband’s behalf: "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."
The news was originally broken by Avery’s co-star – and son in the series - Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Carlton Banks.
Also taking to Facebook, Ribeiro wrote on his wall: “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."
Tatyana Ali, who played James' on-screen daughter Ashley Banks, similarly paid tribute, this time taking to Twitter to write the following:
James was my teacher my protector & the most magnificent actor. We’re feeling his loss very deeply. He’ll always be apart of me #JamesAveryTatyana Ali (@TatyanaAli) January 1, 2014
Avery's publicist, Cynthia Snyder, told the Associated Press that he died in Glendale, California, yesterday following complications from open heart surgery.
Avery grew up in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and served in the navy in Vietnam in the late 1960s. After returning to the States, he settled in California and studied drama and literature at the University of California at San Diego.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara, and stepson, Kevin Waters.
The news comes just a week after Fresh Prince of Bel Air producer Jeff Pollack was found dead aged 54.
The famed director, who was behind comedies such as Lost & Found, Booty Call and drama Above The Rim, died suddenly last Monday morning in Hermosa Beach, California.
He was found in Greenbelt Park, which is a popular spot for jogging and outdoor activities in the area. He was wearing jogging clothes, lieutenant Tom Thompson of the Hermosa Beach Police Department confirmed.
- 1 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 3 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
- 4 Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country
- 5 Barack Obama fist bumps Texas restaurant employee in support of gay rights
Scottish independence: Scots of Corby take matters into their own hands in mock referendum - and deliver overwhelming verdict
Protesters fight to save Arturo, the polar bear sweltering in baking hot zoo
Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
Supermoon 2014 in pictures: Moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Saharan remains may be evidence of first race war, 13,000 years ago
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action
£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...
On Application: Council of Europe: The European Court of Human Rights’s judgme...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...
£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Project Manager (PM), Key Banking Client, Retail ...