“Aunt Viv” Has A Lot To Say About The Death Of James Avery From “Fresh Prince Of Bel Air”

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janet-hubertby Connie K. Grier

Janet Hubert was shocked to learn of the passing of James Avery on New Years Eve, 2013.  The actress/producer expressed her condolences to Avery and his family in a statement to the Grio: “I am home healing and was shocked to hear of James’s passing,”

Janet Hubert, a classically trained actress and dancer from the Julliard School in New York City, performed in several musicals, including CATS and trained with such greats as Alvin Ailey, according to IMDb.com.  However, she is most notably remembered for her role as Aunt Vivian (James Avery’s wife) on the sit-com The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, which also starred Will Smith.

Hubert remembers her work with James Avery as working with “one of the best actors I have worked with in many years” She shared with the Grio that Avery was “classically trained” and “one of the most powerful TV dads that had ever been created”.  Hubert has previously stated to the news outlet that, “When I do a show I want the best people on that stage with me. I thought that we were the best. That cast of Fresh Prince was good. Everybody was exceptional at what they did.”  It is nice to know that the departed shared those sentiments regarding their acting chemistry.  James Avery, in a 2000 interview with People Magazine, shared “Her leaving [the sit-com] was painful,” he said. “Daphne Maxwell Reid [Hubert’s replacement] brought her charm to the role, but Janet had her own spin. I missed the friendship.”

Hubert has also asked the public to respect the place and privacy of Avery’s real life wife at this time.  It is refreshing to see that there are examples of pleasant relationships from Hollywood that are built upon a mutual respect for the attainment of a high level of excellence in acting.

Rest in Peace, Big Guy


  1. Ann G.

    January 5, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    He was right,Daphne Maxwell Reid did have charm, but she was not Janet Hubert, she showed class but was funny as hell, she always had a good come back for you!

  2. Leah

    January 5, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    I really like your articles but the dark purple background makes it hard to read. Maybe if you typed in white font and kept the dark background it would be easier.

  3. Bob Knox

    January 6, 2014 at 1:22 am

    Uncle Phil will last forever in our world and James Avery will have everlasting like in heaven!

  4. Kmad

    January 6, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Janet Hubert was the best Aunt Viv by far! No slight to Daphne Reid, but Janet just fit the role to a T, w I don’t care what the issues were, you make it work and the producers should have made that happen, after she left I didn’t watch it that much. James Avery, like Bill Cosby was a great representation of black fathers or what they should be in principal because we know not every black father is a Supreme Court Judge or Gynecologist but the PRINCIPALS are what stood out. Rest in Peace Mr. James Avery, you’ll never be forgotten.

  5. cj

    January 6, 2014 at 2:22 pm


  6. sagee

    January 6, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    One of my favorite actors.

  7. Dr. Elizabeth Ann Tucker

    January 7, 2014 at 3:33 am

    Janet Hubert is my cousin stemming from the Gretna, Virginia based Tucker-Miller family. She joins hundreds of family members, whom like herself, are very educated, gifted, talented, genuine, loving, kind and have extremely high expectations of one’s self and elevated standards for living. Janet is one of this world’s true gems and I am happy that she worked with Mr. Avery who also was very educated, shared the Tucker-Miller traits and had extremely high standards as well. They were one of television’s greatest TV couples in the history of television.

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