Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Top News

Death of an American icon, last day of 2013 (Editorial)

See also

James LaRue Avery, age 68, died Dec. 31, and American television viewers lost an icon. We knew him as Uncle Phil. He was father to Carlton (Alfonso Ribeiro), Hilary (Karyn Parsons), Ashley (Tatyana Ali), and Nicky (Ross Bagley). He was Vivian's (Janet Hubert/Daphne Reid) husband, a successful and affluent attorney, then judge, and the patriarch of the Banks household. Most of all, he was Will's (Will Smith) — The Fresh Prince — Uncle Phil. After Bill Cosby, James Avery in the role of Philip Banks, was America's favorite on-screen dad, post-Ward Cleaver and Ozzie Nelson. America was given a glimpse of the African American family and found it not unlike their own families or the family they would love to have.

Most in the African American community were gratified to see the rest of the country were finally getting to know the black dad and family they had long known. Actors like Avery through Philip Banks accomplished that most necessary task.

Jada Pinkett Smith — accomplished actress in her own rights, star in title role of Hawthorne, and wife of Will Smith — shared the following post with her Facebook friends on New Years Day:

Jada Pinkett Smith's status.
January 1
Happy New Year everyone! I was hoping to start the new year differently but we have lost yet another friend. James Avery who we all lovingly know as Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince has passed.

Our condolences to aunt Florence (his mother), Miss Barbara (his wife) and all those who loved him.

Rest in peace James.

J

CNN posted some of the best-loved video clips from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air which enjoyed a six-year run on network television from 1990 to 1996 before becoming a syndicated favorite on cable channels. The list of stars who enjoyed guest roles on The Fresh Prince is long, and impressive. They range from recording artists to movie idols, from those unknown in the early 1990s to those legendary box office hits. Check the cast list for the NBC series that reads like a Who's Who in showbiz at IMDb.

Advertisement

News

  • Baseball Hall of Fame
    The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown welcomes six new inductees
    Video
    Video
  • 2012 do-over
    If we were to re-do the 2012 election, a new poll suggests Romney would win
    Politics
  • Boko Haram
    Boko Haram kidnaps the wife of the vice prime minister of Cameroon
    World News
  • Ceasefire breaks
    Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu claims Hamas broke another brief ceasefire
    Gaza
  • Close call with CME
    Scientists tell how Earth survived a giant solar flare back in 2012
    Space
  • Comic-Con
    What's going on at Comic-Con? Get all the latest updates here
    Comic-Con

Related Videos:

  • Victims of MH-17 begins journey home
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518337332" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518337332&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Pro-Russian rebels steal
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518339597" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518339597&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Earth sixth mass extinction: Study reveals shocking facts of life on our planet
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518263072" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518263072&autoStart=true"></div>