One of television's most beloved fathers, "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" star James Avery, died on New Year's Eve -- and his costars are remembering him publicly on Twitter.
As news spread online, people like Tatyana Ali, Alfonso Ribeiro, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Tyra Banks and Ross Bagley (who played little Nicky Banks), all shared their condolences, while other celebrity fans also chimed in.
The actor passed away after complications from open heart surgery. He was 68.
While Will Smith hasn't spoken out yet, his wife Jada Pinkett Smith took to Facebook last night and released a statement from the family.
"Happy New Year everyone! I was hoping to start the new year differently but we have lost yet another friend. James Avery who we all lovingly know as Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince has passed," she wrote.
"Our condolences to aunt Florence (his mother), Miss Barbara (his wife) and all those who loved him. Rest in peace James."
See what Avery's other costars said below:
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
James was my teacher my protector & the most magnificent actor. We're feeling his loss very deeply. He'll always be apart of me #JamesAvery— Tatyana Ali (@TatyanaAli) January 1, 2014
RIP James Avery...Thank U for the talks,travel tips and the jazz cd's. A great Friend and Even Better Person...You will be Missed!! #FPOB— Mr Vinyl Destination (@djjazzyjeff215) January 1, 2014
I am deeply saddened by the news of James Avery passing, he was a great man first and actor second. He will be missed....smh— Ross Bagley (@BossRagley) January 1, 2014
I'm lowkey sick about this news...he treated me like family while we were on set.— Ross Bagley (@BossRagley) January 1, 2014
Sending condolences to the family of James Avery, "Uncle Phil" of the Fresh Prince. I'll always remember how warm he was to me on set.— Tyra Banks (@tyrabanks) January 2, 2014
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