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Celebrity Deaths

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Cast Gathers For James Avery Memorial (PHOTOS)

The world lost one of its most beloved TV dads when actor James Avery, best known for his portrayal as Phillip “Uncle Phil” Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, passed away in a Los Angeles hospital on December 31 from complications following a recent open heart surgery. On January 11, his television family reunited to pay respects to the adored actor.

Alfonso Ribeiro, who played James Avery’s son, Carlton Banks, hosted the memorial and later posted Facebook photos from the ceremony with former co-stars Tatyana Ali (Ashley Banks), Karyn Parsons (Hilary Banks), Daphne Reid (Aunt Vivian from 1993-1996), Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey), as well as James Avery’s real-life wife, Barbara.

“We said goodbye to the amazing James Avery last night. I was honored to host the memorial for Barbara Avery. It was a wonderful tribute and celebration of his life. He will be deeply missed,” Alfonso captioned the Banks family photo.

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“Some of my greatest lessons in Acting, Living and being a respectable human being came through James Avery. Every young man needs an Uncle Phil. Rest in Peace.”

Janet Hubert, who played the original Aunt Viv, was not in attendance, but also released a statement to The Grio upon hearing the sad news on January 2, stating:

“I am home healing and was shocked to hear of James’s passing… Acting with James was like a great doubles match! He was one of the best actors I have worked with in my many years. He was like a big strong boulder, that could either crush you or shield you. He was first and foremost an actor, classically trained, climbed that ladder step by step, role by role, to become one of the most powerful TV dads that had ever been created.”

Source: Facebook/Facebook/TheGrio

01.14.2014 / 12:00 AM EDT by Afiya Augustine
Related: Celebrity Deaths, News, TV Nostalgia, Urban

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