James Avery, perhaps best known for his role as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air‘s Uncle Phil, has died. CNN confirms that he passed away the evening of January 31 at a hospital in Glendale, California due to complications from open-heart surgery.
Family, friends and family have taken to social media to eulogise the life of the classically trained actor and poet and Vietnam War vet. Will Smith keeps it short and sweet:
RIP James Avery aka Uncle Phil
— Will Smith (@Wize_Quotes) January 1, 2014
Cartlon (Alfonso Ribeiro) opens up:
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
Frank Ocean stops by the pay his respects:
Uncle Phil played the best uncle role of all time. Rest in peace James Avery.
— Frank Ocean (@ItsFrrankOcean) January 1, 2014
As does Ghostface Killah:
RIP to Uncle Phil Aka James Avery !!!! Loved the fresh prince of Be-air pic.twitter.com/1DNPp8aqh5
— Ghostface Killah (@GhostfaceKillah) January 1, 2014
And fellow sitcom guy Zach Braff remembers Avery’s impressive comic chops from the set of upcoming movie Wish I Was Here:
James Avery was a very funny and smart man. He did a cameo as a favor to me in WIWH and had the entire set rolling with laughter. RIP.
— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) January 1, 2014