Will Smith pays tribute to James Avery

6:00 PM, Jan 6, 2014   |    comments
Will Smith posted this photo on his official Facebook page in tribute to the late James Avery, who played his fictional TV uncle on 90s sitcom 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.' Avery died on Dec. 31, 2013, due to complications following open heart surgery. (Photo: Will Smith/Facebook)
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(USA TODAY) We were wondering when Will Smith would speak out about Uncle Phil.

The actor has finally paid tribute to the late James Avery, who played his fictional TV uncle on '90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

"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," Smith posted on his official Facebook page. He posted the words alongside a photo of the pair with fellow Fresh Prince co-stars Alfonso RibeiroKaryn Parsons andTatyana Ali, adding, "This photo was the last time we were together."

Avery died on Dec. 31, 2013, in Glendale, Calif., following complications from open-heart surgery. He was 68.

Shortly after Avery's death was announced, Ribeiro, who played Avery's son, tweeted: "I'm deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly."

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