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Will Smith remembers 'Fresh Prince' co-star James Avery: 'Every young man needs an Uncle Phil'

Sniff.

About a week after James Avery’s untimely passing, Will Smith — who first achieved onscreen stardom opposite Avery on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air – has posted a brief, touching tribute to his fallen friend on Facebook.

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

He accompanied his words with a recent photo picturing a reunited Banks family, including Smith, Avery, Tatyana Ali (who played Uncle Phil’s youngest daughter Ashley), Karyn Parsons (who played spoiled oldest daughter Hilary), and Alfonso Ribeiro (who played dorky middle son Carlton). Missing from the picture are Janet Hubert-Whitten and/or Daphne Maxwell Reid, who each played Phil’s wife Vivian for three seasons, respectively.
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James Avery: Best of Uncle Phil on 'Fresh Prince' -- VIDEO

With the passing of veteran actor James Avery, we are taking a look back at his place in TV sitcom history. We’ll fondly remember Avery’s portrayal of Phillip Banks a.k.a. Uncle Phil on the ’90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Here are some of his best moments as the lovable yet tough-as-nails father figure to Will Smith on the show:
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