‘Fresh Prince’ star James Avery dies

james_avery_2598712 Actor James Avery, who played Will Smith’s Uncle Phillip Banks on the 90’s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bell Air, has passed away.

Avery died following complications from open heart surgery. He was 68.

James La Rue Avery was born on November 27, 1945 in Pughsville, Suffolk County, Virginia. He grew up in Atlantic City, New Jersey where he finished high school. Upon graduation he served in the Vietnam War as a member of the U.S. Navy from 1968–1969.

He was famous for his role on Fresh Prince, but he was also a successful voice artist who provided the voice of Shredder in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series. His further acting roles saw him appear on wenn2878483both film and television, with noted appearances in That 70’s Show, My Wife and Kids, Dr. Dolittle 2, Jake and the Fatman and The Brady Bunch Movie.

James’ co-star Alfonso Ribeiro, took to his Facebook page to write: ”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.”

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One response to “‘Fresh Prince’ star James Avery dies”

  1. Hank says:

    Indeed, sad news! It is hard to lose such talented and great people. I am sorry James Avery has passed away so early. I am sure he had so much to accomplish yet. Unfortunately, we never know when we leave this world. I send condolences to his family and friends and rest in peace, James Avery.