Many “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” fans were shocked and saddened to hear that their beloved television uncle had passed away on New Year’s Eve in a Los Angeles hospital at 65. James Avery apparently had an operation on his heart, but he took a turn for the worse and passed away in his hospital bed.
Fans have begun to mourn the star on Twitter, sharing pictures and clips of Uncle Phil’s best moments on the show. “Fresh Prince” costar Alfonso Ribeiro was one of the first people to tweet about Avery’s passing.
“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."
— Alfonso Ribeiro (@alfonso_ribeiro) January 1, 2014
He also wrote on Facebook: "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."
Included below are some fan-made clips of Uncle Phil’s best moments that have been posted to YouTube. The following clip has been viewed on the video site more than 500,000 times since it was posted in August 2009.
As much as he was adored, Uncle Phil was also known to have quite the temper sometimes. One user made a list of the times Uncle Phil got a little crazy. Check out Uncle Phil’s “most evil” moments:
Actually, Uncle Phil’s temper might have crept up on the show more than a few times:
What would the "Fresh Prince" be without a few jokes about Uncle Phil's weight? His nephew Will couldn't help but pick on his size from time to time.
Temper aside, Uncle Phil was always there for his family. That's one of the reasons the show was such a big hit in the 90s and continues to be broadcast today. Avery will be missed by his fans, as he will most likely be mourned by his close family and friends. Though Ribeiro took to Twitter promptly, Will Smith has yet to comment on Avery’s passing.
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