Will Smith and 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' Cast Pay Tribute To James Avery During Reunion

The actor who played Uncle Phil died in 2013.

The cast of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is remembering one of their own. On the season finale of Will Smith's Snapchat original series, Will From Home, the 51-year-old actor reunited with Alfonso Ribeiro, Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Joseph Marcell and DJ Jazzy Jeff to reminisce about their time on the show, which aired from 1990 to 1996.

At one point in the reunion, Smith played clips of the late James Avery in his role as Uncle Phil, which made all the cast members teary-eyed. Avery died in 2013 from complications following open heart surgery. He was 68.

"That just makes me teary," Smith said. "The first couple times that I'm seeing clips of James, you know?"

"I loved that man," agreed Maxwell Reid, who played Avery's wife on the series.

"As James would say, 'Solid!'" said Marcell, who starred in the sitcom as Geoffrey Butler.

The emotional moment continued when Smith gushed over his connection to the cast members.

"You guys are my second family. I've been shaped by my interactions and relationships," he said. "When I look back, the best times in my life will have been on that set."

Smith shared the clip on Instagram, writing, "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."

The episode also had some levity, with Jeff joking that he got "really, really annoyed" by fans' request to do his and Smith's iconic onscreen handshake when they met him in real life.

"You would see in people's eyes when they were about to sneak the handshake and I would just grab their hand and hold it," he admitted with a laugh.

Additionally, Smith revealed that his character's name matched his real-life moniker because of Ribeiro.

"We had talked and I said, 'Look, if you're ever going to do this show, you've gotta be Will Smith," Ribeiro recalled.

"It was such a deep insight that you had," Smith complimented. "You said, 'Because people are going to call you that for the rest of your life.'"

Watch the video below for ET's interview with fellow Fresh Air alum Nia Long.



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