The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast reunited on Will Smith’s Snapchat series Will From Home, but it’s not a complete reunion, not without James Avery, who sadly passed away in 2013. The actor, best known for playing Philip Banks on the NBC sitcom and voicing Shredder in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series, had a tremendous impact on Smith, who got emotional watching clips of his on-screen uncle.
After playing a montage of Uncle Phil’s finest Fresh Prince scenes, all Smith could say was “James Avery” over and over again, while his co-stars wiped tears away.
“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,” Smith wrote following Avery’s death. He included a photo of Alfonso Ribeiro, Karyn Parsons, and Tatyana Ali, all of whom were in attendance during the recent reunion, and added, “This photo was the last time we were together.”
As for how Smith brought everyone else together, he called what’s happening in the world a “beautiful pause button for us to stop and think about what’s really necessary. How often do we even pop on a call and say, ‘Hey, how you doing?’… Of all the things I have ever done, nobody brings up things more than they do about the Fresh Prince.”
You can watch the tribute below, and the entire episode here.