Jada Pinkett Smith, Tatyana Ali, Alfonso Ribeiro React To The Death of James Avery

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The former The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star’s took to social media on Wednesday to express their deep sadness following the death of their dear friend, James Avery.

Alfonso Ribeiro, Avery’s son on the hit sitcom, wrote on Twitter: “I’m deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly.”

Tatyana Ali, who played the late actor’s daughter on the 90′s show also wrote on Twitter: “James was my teacher my protector & the most magnificent actor. We’re feeling his loss very deeply. He’ll always be apart of me #JamesAvery.”

Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, wrote a message on Facebook sending her condolences to the family, writing, “Happy New Year everyone! I was hoping to start the new year differently but we have lost yet another friend.”

She continued, “James Avery who we all lovingly know as Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince has passed,” she wrote. “Our condolences to aunt Florence (his mother), Miss Barbara (his wife) and all those who loved him. Rest in peace James.”

According to Avery’s manager, the 68-year-old died of complications following open-heart surgery. The actor underwent surgery on November 11 and died late Tuesday night (December 31) at a hospital in Glendale, Ca.