Tatyana Ali responded to the passing of Fresh Prince of Bel Air co-star James Avery.
Avery, who portrayed Phillip “Uncle Phil” Banks on the classic 90s sitcom, passed away on December 31 following complications from heart surgery. A number of stars from the comedy, including rapper-turned-actor Will Smith, have paid tribute to their good friend.
A day after news of Avery’s passing made the rounds online, Tatyana Ali issued a statement on Twitter. Not surprisingly, the actress was deeply saddened by the news of the actor’s death. It’s easy to tell that the sudden loss had a deep impact on Ali.
“James was my teacher my protector & the most magnificent actor. We’re feeling his loss very deeply. He’ll always be apart of me,” the actress recently shared on the micro-blogging site.
She added, “A poem of friendship by Nikki Giovanni: We are not lovers because of the love we make but the love we have.”
Tatyani Ali isn’t the only former Fresh Prince of Bel Air cast member to respond publicly to James Avery’s death. Will Smith also took a moment to reflecting on the actor’s passing with a post on his Facebook page.
“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.
Co-star Alfonso Ribeiro added, “I’m deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly.”
While Tatyana Ali and her co-stars were understandably shaken by Avery’s passing, fans were also affected by the actor’s death. Check out some Twitter reactions below.
I Read Will Smith's Reaction To James Avery's Death And My Heart Got Flipped Turned Upside Down http://t.co/NU4J3mb1wV
— Joanna Robinson (@quityourjrob) January 6, 2014
james avery acted, wrote poetry, wrote screenplays, and did voices. he did whatever he wanted quietly and consistently.
— Childish Gambino (@DonaldGlover) January 5, 2014
It saddens me that James Avery had to die before #UnclePhil became a Twitter trend. Shame on you all.
— Freddy In Space (@FreddyInSpace) January 2, 2014
RIP James Avery, AKA Uncle Phil, AKA one of the best TV father figures ever.
— Peter S. Hall (@PeterSHall) January 2, 2014
Anyways if like to say RIP James Avery. You certainly made my childhood a lot funnier. Rest in peace uncle Phil~h pic.twitter.com/RcmzEL1s0F
— 1D Updates (@1DUpdatesOMG) January 2, 2014
What do you think about Tatyana Ali’s tribute to James Avery?