'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air's Uncle Phil, James Avery, dies at 68

By Hannah Gullickson,

Actor James Avery, well-known for his character Uncle Phil from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, passed away at age 68 this Tuesday night in a Los Angeles hospital.

James Avery’s publicist Cynthia Snyder said that Avery passed away following complications from open heart surgery, according to The Associated Press

Avery had been acting for thirty years, beginning with The Blues Brothers in 1980 and Hill Street Blues in 1984. In the 1990s and early 2000s, he had created voice-overs for characters such as Presto in That’s So Raven and Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He was most known for his character Uncle Philip Banks, a judge in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. With actor Will Smith, this show soared to fame in 1990, running for six seasons on NBC.

Chicago Tribune reports actor Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Philip’s son Carlton on the show tweeted, “I’m deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly.”

Avery was born on Nov. 27, 1948, in Atlantic City, N.J. He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Barbara.

image: Amazon


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