Back in the 90s, a very young Will Smith started his acting career starring in a sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. It followed Smith to his wealthy uncle’s place to get his life back on track after getting into trouble back at home in Philadelphia. The show was extremely popular because of its feel-good vibe. Another huge factor in the show’s popularity was the chemistry between the stars, especially Smith and James Avery, who played Philip Banks. Their bond was strong off-screen as well. So when the senior actor passed away, the Men in Black star shared a heartfelt note for him.
James Avery passed away in 2014 due to open heart surgery complications. After the news of his demise became public, Will Smith paid a heartfelt tribute to his reel uncle. He took to his Facebook to post an old picture of the cast together. Along with the photo, he added that it was the last time they were all snapped together.
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Smith looked up to Avery and praised him for teaching him what he knows now. He concluded that, “Every young man needs an uncle” and Avery definitely was one of his. Other than him, Jada Pinkett Smith also offered her condolences to the grieving family.
The star would remember him during the reunion of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air again in 2020. The cast reunited 30 years later to celebrate the milestone and yet only Avery was missing.
Will Smith paid tribute to the late James Avery on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion
The father of three did not forget his favorite uncle during the reunion episode. To remember his huge contribution to the show, the actor played clips of the late star. The clip was a combination of all the best scenes of Avery as Uncle Philip. The trip down the memory made the I Am Legend actor quite emotional.
Two years later, the Hollywood star with his wife would executive produce a remake of the show again. Bel-Air debuted in 2022, with Jabari Banks in the lead filling in Smith’s shoes. The show was quite successful in tapping into people’s nostalgia and has just gotten renewed for a third season. And Will has also shared the news with his followers on Instagram. The second season is currently on air.
What do you think about Will Smith and James Avery’s bond? Share your thoughts in the comments.