"Fresh Prince Of Bel Air" Father Dies
By Rudy Martinez
Jan 1, 2014 - 8:37:07 PM

LOS ANGELES—James Avery, the man that audiences have come to know as ”˜Uncle Phil’ on the hit TV series “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” died at the age of 68 on December 31, 2013. His death is due to complications from a recent heart surgery the actor had.


Avery who was born in Virginia, was a Vietnam veteran serving two years in the United States Navy in the late 60s. After his completion of duty, Avery went on to become a writer for PBS.

James Avery with fellow co-star Will Smith in an episode of "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air."


His acting career saw many small roles until his most famous role as Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Phillip Banks on NBC’s “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” A lot of his antics involved his rambunctious nephew Will Smith and his family. Avery spent the entire six seasons of the show as the strong minded patriarch who dealt with all family issues at his Bel Air estate.


After the success  of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” he went back to taking small supporting roles in on TV series like “CSI,” “The Jamie Foxx Show,” “Proud Family,” :That 70’s Show,” “NYPD Blue” and most recently “The Closer.”


In a tweet, Avery’s co-star Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Carlton Banks stated, “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 is survived by Barbara Avery, his wife of 26 years, along with his stepson Kevin Waters and his mother Florence Avery.

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