‘Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s James Avery Dies at 68


‘Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s James Avery Dies at 65


Some sad news to start 2014. ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s patriarch James Avery has died at the age of 68.

According to TMZ, the actor, known for portraying Uncle Phil to Will Smith’s character on the ‘90s hit comedy and father to Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton), Karyn Parsons (Hilary) and Tatyana Ali (Ashley), checked into a Los Angeles hospital for open heart surgery. Reportedly, Avery’s status worsened after the surgery, and he died from complications last night on New Year’s Eve.

Fans first heard of the news this morning after Ribeiro tweeted about his TV father’s passing, “I'm deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly.”

Ribeiro also continued to share his thoughts via Facebook, “The world has lost a truly special man. I am very saddened to say that James Avery has passed. Even though he played my father on TV, he was a wonderful father figure to me in life. He will be deeply missed.”

In addition to his portrayal of Philip Banks, who was a strict, loving and caring father to his children and Will, Avery’s more recent roles consisted of Sam on ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ Fred Billings on ‘Harry’s Law,’ and he also had a recurring role as Dr. Crippen on TNT’s ‘The Closer.’

CORRECTION: We previously reported Avery died at 65. He was 68.

- James Avery
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Written by: akoerner
Jan 1st, 2014, 12:45 pm

Images courtesy of Getty Images


Level 1 (5%)
Points: 0.5
Since: 01/Sep/09
Message Posted On Jan 7th, 2014, 12:02 am

Damn Uncle Phil....*sigh*...


Level 1 (54%)
Points: 9.9
Mood: depressed
Since: 15/May/13
Message Posted On Jan 3rd, 2014, 2:11 am

RIP James... We will always be able to remeber you as "Uncle Phil"... You will be around foever in reruns!!


Level 4 (61%)
Points: 0.4
Since: 12/Jul/10
Message Posted On Jan 2nd, 2014, 7:55 am

RIP he gave me one of my biggest laughs when i was in amsterdam and watched fresh prince in BA on mushrooms in my hotelroom with some friends... all of the sudden James got bulldog like cheecks hanging far down his belly!! i laughed for so many hours strait that i where soar in my "laughing muscels" for days after... good times thayt ill neweer forget


Message Posted On Jan 1st, 2014, 3:38 pm
Alfonso Ribeiro, has Twitter followers? Christ how desperate can that lot be. What REALLY sucks with every death of a talented person, is the fact virtually all the young talents are shit.Doesn't matter if it is an actor, musician, or writer nothing but crap to replace them.


Level 5 (55%)
Points: 970
Mood: relaxed
Since: 08/Jun/10
Message Posted On Jan 1st, 2014, 2:12 pm

Yeah, I just heard about this. This is very sad news :(



Level 39 (91%)
Points: 17879.2
Since: 08/Jul/10
Message Posted On Jan 1st, 2014, 1:02 pm

Damn. Fresh Prince was one of my favorite sitcoms growing up, and Uncle Phil was a huge reason why. I still remember that episode where Will got hustled at pool, so Phil goes there and pretends to be getting hustled himself. Then all of a sudden: "Geoffrey, break out Lucille." He was also a terrific voice actor, I remember how surprised I was when I found out that he played Shredder on the 80's Ninja Turtles show. RIP James Avery, you will be missed.

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