About a week after James Avery’s untimely passing, Will Smith — who first achieved onscreen stardom opposite Avery on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air — has posted a brief, touching tribute to his fallen friend on Facebook.
“Some of my greatest lessons in Acting, Living and being a respectable human being came through James Avery,” Smith wrote in a post late Sunday night. “Every young man needs an Uncle Phil. Rest in Peace.”
He accompanied his words with a recent photo picturing a reunited Banks family, including Smith, Avery, Tatyana Ali (who played Uncle Phil’s youngest daughter Ashley), Karyn Parsons (who played spoiled oldest daughter Hilary), and Alfonso Ribeiro (who played dorky middle son Carlton). Missing from the picture are Janet Hubert-Whitten and/or Daphne Maxwell Reid, who each played Phil’s wife Vivian for three seasons, respectively.
“This photo was the last time we were together,” Smith added. Double sniff.
And as if that weren’t sad enough, Ribeiro also posted a Facebook tribute to Avery on Saturday. “Here’s another photo of James from our wedding [in 2012],” Ribeiro wrote next to a picture of Avery looking dapper in formal wear. “It is still hard to believe he is no longer with us. It feels like yesterday when I would drop by his dressing room and learn about some of the great Jazz music he would listen to. Such a warm, inspiring, wonderful man.”
Triple quadruple sniff. Maybe we should just spend the rest of the afternoon remembering happier times: