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Will Smith On James Avery’s Death: “Every Young Man Needs An Uncle Phil”

After James Avery’s sudden passing on Dec. 31, several co-stars and celebrities have paid their respects to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor via social media pages, but one notable co-star has kept his silence until now.

Actor Will Smith, who stared alongside Avery in Fresh Prince has finally broken his silence since ‘Uncle Phil’s death and shared a few words on his Facebook page Monday morning, reports Yahoo.

Smith, 45, posted a photo posing with Avery and other members of the fictional Banks family including Karyn Parsons (Hilary), Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton), Tatyana M. Ali (Ashley). He noted that the photo was “the last time we were together” along with the caption:

“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”

In the hit ’90s sitcom, Avery acted as father-figure to Smith’s fictionalized character after being sent to live with aunt and uncle in their Bel-Air mansion. ‘Uncle Phil’ regularly gave “touch love” advice to help keep Will out of trouble.

Avery passed away on Dec. 31 after complications from an open heart surgery. He was 68.

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