I was literally just talking with a friend about Fresh Prince of Bel Air with a friend yesterday morning and not an hour later, news that James Avery, who played Uncle Phil on the sitcom, had passed away on New Year’s Eve at the age of 68. The cause of death was said to be complications resulting from open heart surgery he recently received in Los Angeles. Really sad news.
Alfonso Ribeiro, who played his son Carlton on the series, was really struck by the loss and posted messages on both Twitter and Facebook about his TV dad.
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
Here’s what he 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.
RIP, Uncle Phil!