James Avery Dead at 68

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The cast of Fresh Prince - James Avery died on January 1 2014.
The cast of Fresh Prince - James Avery died on January 1 2014.

‘Uncle Phil’ from Fresh Prince Dead

HOLLYWOOD, CA – Celebrity News – James Avery, who played ‘Uncle Phil’ in the hit 1990s show “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” has died. Avery who played the uncle to Will Smith, the rapper and later movie star, died as a result of complications from open-heart surgery.

The sixty-eight year old classically trained actor had, according to his manager, Toni Benson undergone open heart surgery on November 11th. Avery died Tuesday evening at a hospital in Glendale, California,

“Fresh Prince” co-star Joseph Marcell, who played the family butler Geoffrey in the series, reported that “Avery was a marvelous man and a truly wonderful actor.”

Avery played Philip Banks, a lawyer and later a judge in the show, who had started out as a black activist during the 1960s was a stern but loving uncle to Will Smith’s character on “Fresh Prince”.

“Fresh Prince” co-star Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Avery’s son Carleton on “Fresh Prince” 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 also a respected voice actor. Avery’s voice roles include ‘Shredder’ from the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” series, and James ‘Rhodey; Rhodes in the cartoon series “Iron Man.”

The cast of Fresh Prince - James Avery died on January 1 2014.
The cast of Fresh Prince – James Avery died on January 1 2014.