James Avery, Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s Uncle Phil dead at 65

James Avery Fresh Prince

by Akan Ido

James Avery, the actor who played Uncle Phil (Judge Phillip Banks) in the popular TV comedy show Fresh Prince of Bel Air, is dead.

Reports say Avery died at a Los Angeles, California hospital on Tuesday evening.

Avery was said to have died due to complications arising from the open heart surgery which he had recently undergone.

Fresh Prince co-star Alfonso Ribeiro confirmed the death on Twitter:

I’m deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly. pic.twitter.com/UrW0EeBFbO

— Alfonso Ribeiro (@alfonso_ribeiro) January 1, 2014

Avery, who was born in New Jersey in 1948, also lent that booming voice of his to a number of animated shows and films over the years, including TV’s Teenage Mutanta Ninja Turtles (he was The Shredder!), the 1990s-era Iron Man series and DreamWork’s The Prince of Egypt. His many live-action film credits include The Brady Bunch Movie and Dr. Dolittle 2.

RIP, Uncle Phil.

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