Will Smith Breaks Silence On Death Of James Avery

News & Views | Camille Travis | 01/06/2014 | 12:00 PM EST

The 'Fresh Prince' star finally opens up about the actor's passing

In the wake of James Avery's death, messages came pouring in from the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" cast as word spread about the actor's passing. Yet there was one key member of the group missing: Will Smith.

On Sunday, the show's lead took to Facebook to express his thoughts on "Uncle Phil." Along with a photo of Smith, Avery, Alfonso Ribeiro, Karyn Parsons and Tatyana Ali, he stated:

"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"

When the news hit, Smith was with wife Jada Pinkett Smith in Dubai as the couple celebrated their 16th anniversary. She, too, remembered Avery and offered her condolences to his wife Barbara.

The 68-year-old star died Dec. 31 at a hospital in Glendale, Calif. due to complications from an open-heart surgery on Nov. 11.

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