Janet Hubert, the original “Aunt Viv” from the “Fresh Price of Bel Air” has now spoken out about the death of James “Uncle Phil” Avery.

As we reported, Avery died on New Years Eve following complications from open heart surgery at a hospital in Glendale, California. He was 68.

The actress/producer expressed her condolences to Avery and his family in a statement to theGrio:

“I am home healing and was shocked to hear of James’s passing,” she says. “I think this incredible clip says it best.”

“Acting with James was like a great doubles match! He was one of the best actors I have worked with in my many years. He was like a big strong boulder, that could either crush you or shield you. He was first and foremost an actor, classically trained, climbed that ladder step by step, role by role, to become one of the most powerful TV dads that had ever been created. My heart goes out to Barbara his real wife and family and I ask that you respect her place, as his real wife with regards to her husband with request for statements from me who simply but proudly played his TV wife Vivian Banks. RIP James, all the world is a stage, and we are all merely players in this production called LIFE.”

James Avery is survived by his wife Barbara, and stepson Kevin Waters.


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