There’s some shocking and sad news on the first day of the New Year. “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” star James Avery passed away on New Year’s Eve at age 65 in a Los Angeles hospital. The facts surrounding his death are little known, except for the fact that his former costar Alfonso Ribeiro took to his verified Twitter account to share his condolences.
I'm deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly. pic.twitter.com/UrW0EeBFbO
— Alfonso Ribeiro (@alfonso_ribeiro) January 1, 2014
TMZ confirmed his passing on Wednesday afternoon, citing sources who are close to the actor. He apparently had recently undergone a surgery for an undisclosed illness and on Tuesday night he took a turn for the worst. The news site added that his wife Barbara had been staying at his bedside, and when she got up to get something to eat she learned that he had passed in the L.A. hospital.
Avery played the beloved character “Uncle Phil” on the hit 90s show, whose reruns still air today. No other confirmation, other than Ribeiros's tweet, have hit the Internet. The post has been shared more than 30,000 times and garnered thousands more “favorites.”
“I'm deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away,” Ribeiro tweeted around noon on Wednesday. “He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly. “
On the hit show, which famously featured Hollywood star Will Smith, Ribeiro played Carlton, the preppy yet undeniably loveable cousin of Will. None of the other “Fresh Prince” costars have publicly commented on Avery’s passing.
Twitter users began to mourn the star, sharing tweets of condolences and sadness over the loss of one of televisions most loved uncles. Check out their posts below:
Damn, say it ain't so. James Avery has passed away! I loved him on fresh prince of bel air, and he was… http://t.co/FVpjFn8yWE
— Sheneka Adams (@iamShenekaAdams) January 1, 2014
Everyone knows James Avery as "Uncle Phil" which was a GREAT role. But bruh had a looooong resume too. http://t.co/uIFxok4GVj RIP.
— Trudy (@thetrudz) January 1, 2014
Rest In Peace James Avery (Uncle Phil from Fresh Prince of Bel Air), amazing actor. - pic.twitter.com/BfLcyV4qHv
— (@Jabz_V1) January 1, 2014
Follow me on Twitter @mariamzzarella