By now it’s old news that popular chat show host Jimmy Fallon has taken over The Tonight Show hosting job from Jay Leno! But no doubt viewers are still buzzing from the antics served up on his debut show, which aired last week featuring A-List actor Will Smith, as a guest, who as well as giving an interview joined Jimmy for a wholly entertaining ‘evolution of hip hop dance’ journey.
Jimmy more than held his own against the former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as they performed dances such as The Humpty Dance, The Running Man, The Wop, Twerking and the ‘Carlton Dance’. Hilarious stuff!
US actor James Avery, who played one of my (and millions of others around the world) favourite TV dads of all time, Uncle Phil from the 90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel- Air, passed away yesterday after complications with open heart surgery. It was a very sad way to start the New Year, and of course the tributes have been pouring in, most notably from his TV family on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Alphonso Ribiero, who played James’ onscreen son, confirmed the news many fans were hoping was a hoax (a couple of years ago it was rumoured that James had passed, but it was found to be a ruse), yesterday evening by tweeting:
“I’m deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away.
“He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly.”
While Jada Pinkett Smith, who is married to the star of the now defunct sit-com, Hollywood actor Will Smith, posted on Facebook:
“Happy New Year everyone! I was hoping to start the new year differently but we have lost yet another friend.
“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. Rest in peace James.”
Taytana Ali, who played James’s TV daughter, Ashley Banks also tweeted her condolences, saying: ”James was my teacher my protector & the most magnificent actor. We’re feeling his loss very deeply. He’ll always be a part of me #JamesAvery.”
James Avery served in Vietnam in the US Navy from 1968 to 1969, before he began writing TV scripts and poetry for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). he later appeared in shows such as Greys Anatomy, The Closer and Star Trek: Enterprise, and movies such as Fletch, License to Drive and Doctor Doolittle 2.
A statement issued by his publicist, Tony Benson, said Avery was survived by his wife of 26 years, Barbara, his mother, Florence Avery, and his step-son, Kevin Waters.
The statement added, that James had been working until September 2013 on the Zach Braff film Wish I Was Here, which will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
Below are some clips of the role that fans will most remember James Avery for… Enjoy!
And here is my favourite ever Uncle Phil moment. This scene always makes me cry and let fans of the show know that the actors (James included) on the show weren’t just good at making us laugh – they could tug at a range of emotions, such was their talents! R.I.P James Avery – Your legacy lives on.
Love this video of Will Smith and Doug E Fresh showing the younguns how shizzle is done at actress Gabrielle Union’s 40th birthday party, over the weekend!
Doug E, who is the originator of ‘the Dougie’ dance, in case you didn’t know, clearly hasn’t lost a inch of his swagger since the 80s, as he gets down to show all imitators of the moves why no on can do it quite like he can. All this alongside spitting some lyrics. Will Smith also shows he is still super cool, rapping on the mic along to some of his old hits, as well as the Fresh Prince of Bel- Air theme tune… *Ed has a moment*. Once again people, this.is.why. I miss the old school!!!!!!!!!!
You can see Doug E getting his ‘Dougie’ on in the below video for his Guess who/Keep Rising To The Top video…
The original Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast members James Avery (Uncle Phil), Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton), Karyn Parsons (Hilary), Tatyana Ali (Ashley) and Will Smith (Will) met up in Hollywood recently, and fans went crazy when Will promptly posted a picture of the exciting event on his Facebook page (below)!
However, missing from the shot was Joseph Marcel (Butler Geoffery) and Daphne Maxwell Reid (Aunt Viv number 2). Also absent was Janet Hubert, who played the original Aunt Viv. In 1993, she was replaced half way through the shows six year run (in season four), at the time it was said to be due to contract disputes and the audience were none the wiser as to real reason Aunt Viv suddenly changed from dark skinned to light skinned and slim to shapely.
Years later Hubert revealed the real reason she was let go from the show, which was allegedly due to Will Smith’s ‘out-of-control ego’, and the fact that unlike the rest of the cast she didn’t roll over and take it. She also claimed that after she was fired Will blackballed her career as a Hollywood actress, which made it hard for her to get work. In fact so deep were her feelings on the matter she wrote a book Perfection Is Not A Sit-com Mom (2009) detailing her version of events.
All this has now come back into the spotlight after TMZ interviewed Hubert recently about the reunion and she made was clear she hadn’t gotten over things, saying: ‘There will never be a reunion … as I will never do anything with an a**hole like Will Smith.’ She added: ‘He is still an egomaniac and has not grown up. This constant reunion thing will never ever happen in my lifetime unless there is an apology, which he doesn’t know the word.’ Ouch!
Check out two separate interviews done by Janet in the recent years, talking in more detail about the issues she felt led to her getting fired.
As a huge Will Smith fan, I won’t hear a bad word said against the man, but I do feel a little bit sorry for Janet as I guess there are two sides to every story. But it does have to be said that both Tatyana Ali and Alfonso Ribeiro have spoken out on the issue, and both seem to be in favour of Will. Is that coz he holds the most power, or are they just being honest? See below…
Alfonso Ribeiro (now 38) is best known for playing preppy rich kid Carlton Banks on the hit TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, especially with audiences outside of the US. The show, fronted by rapper/actor Will Smith, ended back in 1996. Since then Alfonso has appeared in another TV sit-com fronted by a rapper, this time LL Cool J in In The House. Here he played a character very similar to Carlton (Maxwell Stanton) from 1995-1999.
Even though Summertime seems to have forgotten us this year in the UK , there are ways to still get a sunshine fix. One being a spin of the classic tune Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince. And speaking of that record… Can you believe it came out 20 years ago?!? I still remember purchasing the duo’s Homebase album, which contained the song, on my first trip to the US back in ’91.
We spotted the below article over at:www.bvx.com this week.
In an interview in the Village Voice, Jeff ‘DJ Jazzy Jeff’ Townes explained why the record – produced by beatmaking duo K. Fingers and Hula who built the track on a sample of Kool and the Gang’s Summer Madness – has endured through the years.
However, every summer, Townes said that he and his ex-bandmate, Will Smith (formerly the Fresh Prince), expect the record to die. ‘Not in a bad way, but just like, you didn’t think that this song was going to be like this,’ Townes told the Voice. ‘We knew it was a great record and thought people might play it every once in a blue moon, but not every summer. It’s almost like this song is the launch of peoples’ summer.’
Spotted over at www.popeater.com this week was an interview with former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actress Karyn Parsons. Karyn, of course played spoilt air-head Hillary Banks. She spoke to the site about reuniting with the FPOB cast, her views on ex-co-star Will Smith’s kids Jaden and Willow being in the spotlight, and what she is currently up to herself. Below is the first part of the interview.
In recent months the offspring of two the most important names in old school popular culture, have been making waves of their own in the world of music and film. Daniel ‘Diggy’ Simmons, son of Rev. Joseph ‘Run’ Simmons of Run DMC fame, and Jaden and Willow (yup that’s her real name) Smith, son and daughter of superstar Will Smith, are currently building up careers and fanbases set to rival their famous parents.