The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast reunited to pay tribute to Uncle Phil's James Avery
You probably weren’t expecting to cry over The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air today, were you? Same. But Will Smith and the rest of the cast reunited and paid tribute to the late James Avery, who played Uncle Phil in the sitcom—and, uh, yup, here come the tears.
Smith was joined via Zoom by Fresh Prince stars Alfonso Ribeiro (who played Carlton Banks), Karyn Parsons (Hilary Banks), Tatyana Ali (Ashley Banks), Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey), Daphne Maxwell Reid (Aunt Viv), and DJ Jazzy Jeff (Jazz). Together, the cast watched a compilation video of some of Avery’s best moments from the show. Avery, whose character, Philip “Uncle Phil” Banks, was a judge in Bel-Air, passed away from surgical complications in 2013.
“The @freshprince wouldn’t have been HALF what it was without the talent and light that was James Avery,” Smith captioned his May 1st Instagram video. “We all love and miss you, James.” He noted during the video that this marks only the first couple of times he’s seen clips of Avery since he died.
Their Avery tribute was just part of the Fresh Prince Zoom reunion commemorating the 30th anniversary of the show’s first season, which aired in September 1990.
“Reunited and it feels so… AHHHHHH! It’s been 30 years since the first season of The @freshprince of Bel-Air so I thought we should have ourselves a lil Zoom reunion!!” Smith captioned another video from the event.
The full reunion is available to watch on Smith’s Snapchat show “Will From Home.”
Of course, it feels like a presence is missing from the reunion without Avery being there. But seeing the core cast together again nearly 30 years after Fresh Prince went off the air is an incredible thing. More Zoom reunions of our favorite ’90s shows, please!