The news of his passing has been met with an outpouring of grief from fans, friends and co-workers alike, with his Fresh Prince co-stars leading the way in with their own tributes for the actor. Joseph Marcell, who portrayed Geoffrey the family butler on the show, told CNN that Avery was "a marvelous man and a truly wonderful actor."

"He strove to present an Uncle Phil that everybody wishes was their uncle," Marcell continued. "What he has done for television, for African-Americans on television is unsurpassable."

He was also fondly remembered by his co-stars Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Carlton Banks, and Tatyana Ali, who played his youngest daughter Ashley Banks, who tweeted, "James was my teacher my protector & the most magnificent actor. We're feeling his loss very deeply. He'll always be apart of me."

Jada Pinkett Smith, wife of Will Smith, wrote her and her husband's condolences to Avery on Wednesday (1 Jan.) on her verified Facebook page. She wrote, "James Avery who we all lovingly know as Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince has passed. Our condolences to aunt Florence (his mother), Miss Barbara (his wife) and all those who loved him."

James Avery LRP
James Avery: 1945 - 2013