Though Fresh Prince himself has yet to make a public statement, Will Smith's wife took to Facebook to offer condolences. "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," wrote Jada Pinkett Smith."Our condolences to aunt Florence (his mother), Miss Barbara (his wife) and all those who loved him. Rest in peace James." Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Carlton Banks, said he remembered Avery for his love and knowledge of jazz music.
Avery is survived by his wife and children.