Jada Pinkett Smith has paid tribute her husband’s The Fresh Prince of Bel Air co-star James Avery following the actor’s death.
James Avery (Uncle Phil) passed away at a hospital in Los Angeles on New Year’s eve with his wife Barbara by his side after suffering complications following open heart surgery.
Will Smith starred in the show as Will “The Fresh Prince” Smith alongside James who played his relative, Uncle Phil.
Jada wrote on her Facebook page on Wednesday after hearing the news, “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 of James Avery’s death was broken by Will and James’ co-star, Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Uncle Phil’s son, Carlton Banks, on the popular show.
Alfonso wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday: “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.”
In addition to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, James appeared in a number of other popular shows including Grey’s Anatomy, The Young and the Restless, Charmed and That ’70s show among many others