Virtual reunion: Will Smith and Fresh Prince cast pay teary tribute to late Uncle Phil actor

Will Smith was left in tears during a virtual reunion with his Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-stars as they remembered James Avery, who played Uncle Phil and died in 2013.

The star shared a clip from his new Snapchat chat show “Will At Home” on his Instagram page as the cast marked 30 years since the start of the hit show.

Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton), Daphne Maxwell Reid (Aunt Viv) Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey) Karyn Parsons (Hilary), Tatyana M. Ali (Ashley) and Smith’s sidekick DJ Jazzy Jeff all featured in the video.

“I’m hyped, I’m hyped!” said Smith.

View this post on Instagram

Reunited and it feels so… AHHHHHH! It’s been 30 years since the first season of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air so I thought we should have ourselves a lil Zoom reunion!! Check us out, link in bio. #WillFromHome

A post shared by Will Smith (@willsmith) on Apr 29, 2020 at 10:50am PDT

The actors appeared very pleased to see each other as they spoke from their homes during the coronavirus lockdown.

During the video they watched clips from the Fresh Prince showing Avery, who played Will’s father figure in the American comedy.

The Fresh Prince cast in 2005: (L-R) James Avery, Daphne Reid, Karyn Parsons, Tatyana Ali, Will Smith, Alfonso Ribeiro
Image:The Fresh Prince cast in 2005: (L-R) James Avery, Daphne Reid, Karyn Parsons, Tatyana Ali, Will Smith, Alfonso Ribeiro

Avery died from complications after open heart surgery when he was 68.

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“That just makes me teary,” Smith said, wiping his eyes. “The first couple times that I’m seeing clips of James, you know?”

“I loved that man,” said Reid, who played opposite Avery as Aunt Viv.

“As James would say, ‘Solid,'” added Marcell.

In a tribute on Instagram, Smith wrote: “Our show wouldn’t have been HALF what it was without the talent and light that was James Avery. We all love and miss you, James.”

At the start of the video Smith and Ribeiro both shouted “he’s alive, he’s alive” as Jazzy Jeff joined the Zoom call.

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Earlier this week Jazzy Jeff told CNN he believed he had caught coronavirus while on a trip to Idaho in March. He said he lost his sense of smell, had hallucinations and had been quite unwell.

Marcell told him “you had us all scared”, to which the DJ replied: “Not as scared as I was.”

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air first aired in September 1990.

“You guys are my second family, and I’ve been shaped by my interactions and relationships,” Smith said, before signing off.

“When I look back, the best times in my life will have been on that set.”

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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