That very day, a Twitter user claiming to be Smith, tweeted out the words "R.I.P. Uncle Phil" along with an appeal for retweets from fans of the show.
The reason for the odd request, according to @FreshPrinceWill, was to ensure that NBC approves a proposal for the taping of "one more Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode in honor of Uncle Phil."
If the tweet received over 300,000 retweets, the reunion would be greenlighted.
"Some of my greatest lessons in Acting, Living and being a respectable human being came through James Avery," Smith wrote in a Facebook post published last night. "Every young man needs an Uncle Phil. Rest in Peace."
Smith also posted a photo of "the last time we were together."