The cast of classic 90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air had a virtual reunion on Tuesday, and they took time to honor the late James Avery. Avery, who played “Uncle Phil” the Banks family patriarch, died in 2014 from complications due to open-heart surgery.
“Our show wouldn’t have been HALF what it was without the talent and light that was James Avery,” show star Will Smith wrote on Instagram, sharing footage from the tribute. “We all love and miss you, James.”
Smith, who has a Snapchat series called “Will From Home,” was joined by former castmates Tatyana Ali, Alfonso Ribeiro, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Karyn Parsons, Daphne Reid, and Joseph Marcell.
“That just makes me teary,” Smith said, wiping his eyes. “It’s the first couple times that I’m seeing clips of James.”
“I loved that man,” said Reid, who played Banks’ wife on the show.
Fans of the show joined on social media to honor James Avery and share their favorite Philip Banks moments.
Though a lot of shows are reuniting, Ribeiro previously has said fans should not expect a Fresh Prince reunion.
“They can’t do it without Carlton, but they also couldn’t do it without Will Smith or James Avery,” he said during an appearance on The Wendy Williams Show. “There is no show without James Avery, he was the anchor to that show.”