There’s a great moment in Stephen Merchant’s “Hello Ladies” when his character employes the theme song from the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” to explain to a group of Long Beach residents why he came to LA. It’s a hilarious moment (let me reiterate that “Hello Ladies” was one of the best shows in 2013) because of the universality of that show. Some of our classic 90s sitcoms become time capsules of everything that was wrong with culture back then. Think of “Blossom” with those over sized flower hats or John Stamos’ hair on “Full House”. Yet the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” has only gained in stature, Will Smith’s movie career helped sure, but the show still connects with people who came of age during the early 90s.
It is that connection that made the news of James Avery passing away at the age 68 resonate with so many people. Avery played “Uncle Phil” on the show for six seasons. He was a Dr. Huxtable for a new generation. Here’s the news from CNN.
Actor James Avery, who played the beloved Uncle Phil on the hit 1990s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” has died, his publicist said Wednesday. He was 68.
The cause of death was complications from open-heart surgery, said his manager, Toni Benson. Avery had surgery on November 11 and died Tuesday evening at a hospital in Glendale, California, according to Benson.
In honor of Avery and his place in sitcom history here are some of his best “Fresh Prince” moments.