Actor, James Avery, best known for playing Uncle Phil on the 90s sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air has died.
Actor James Avery, who played the beloved Uncle Phil on the hit 1990s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” died Tuesday, his publicist confirmed. He was 68.
The cause of death was complications from open-heart surgery, said his manager, Toni Benson.
His “Fresh Prince” co-star Alfonso Ribeiro tweeted news of Avery’s passing.
“I’m deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away,” Riberio tweeted. “He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly.
But his most famous role was as Phillip Banks, the stern but loving uncle to Will Smith’s character on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” The show, co-executive produced by Quincy Jones and created by Andy Borowitz and Susan Borowitz, cast Smith — then best known as a rapper — as a Philadelphia teenager who is sent to live with his wealthy Los Angeles relatives. As Banks, a former civil-rights activist and Harvard Law-trained attorney, Avery provided a role model for Smith’s sometimes wild character.
I bet I haven’t watched an entire episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but Avery obviously means a lot to fans of the show–particularly 90s kids who grew up on it. RIP James Avery.