Tatyana Ali and ‘Fresh Prince’ Co-Stars React To Death of James AveryBy: Meaghan Ellis - January 7, 2014
To fans around the world, he was simply ‘Uncle Phil’ from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
But for Tatyana Ali, and the rest of the Fresh Prince cast, he was so much more. His shocking death on New Year’s Eve took the world by surprise, and now the cast mourns the loss.
Actress-singer Tatyana Ali recently took to Twitter to share her feelings of Avery, offering her condolences.
Ali, who was a child actress on the show played the role of Ashley Banks, the youngest daughter of Philip Banks portrayed by Avery.
As the ‘baby of the cast’, Ali was only 11 years old when the Fresh Prince aired in 1990.
Although most are familiar with the ‘daddy’s little girl’ camaraderie they shared on camera, the actress shed light on their relationship off camera.
In a series of tweets, the 34-year-old actress shared a heartfelt message about Avery and his impact on her life over the years. Ali’s tweet ended with the hashtag #JamesAvery, which became a massive trending topic in light of Avery’s death.
Ali also included pictures of candid moments that cast shared on the set of the Fresh Prince. She also tweeted an excerpt from a poem by notable writer-activist Nikki Giovanni.
However, she wasn’t the only one to weigh in. Twitter has actually been buzzing since the news of Avery’s death, and the majority of the cast has also taken moments to weigh in on the loss, and how it has effected them. Alfonso Ribeiro, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Tyra Banks have all tweeted their sentiments.
Ribeiro actually was the first to confirm the news via Twitter.
Jazzy Jeff and Banks’ tweets came shortly after.
Will Smith also shared his condolences via Facebook, including a picture of the last time the cast spent together. Smith’s message said, “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. This photo was the last time we were together.”
Avery is survived by his wife, Barbara Avery, his mother, and stepson.