Will Smith says he has been left shocked and devastated over the sudden death of his The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star James Avery.
Avery died in an L.A. hospital last night, after recently undergoing surgery for an undisclosed illness.
Smith was working in Dubai when he found out the news by phone.
“Will was ringing in the New Year with his family when an associate told him the news,” a source said.
“Working with James was a big part of his life.. in fact, James was something of a father figure to Will.
“He’s devastated by the death.. James will be sorely missed.”
Avery played Will’s uncle, Philip Banks, in the TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
James’ character was ranked #34 in TV Guide’s “50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time.
FILE UNDER: "will smith reaction to james avery, reginald veljohnson and james avery relationship, will smith reacts to james avery, did will smith uncle >phil die from aids, Will smiths Response to Averys Death"Alfonso Ribeiro, Avery, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, james, James Avery, List of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air characters, new year, Will Smith