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Film and television star James Avery dies

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Actor James Avery who starred as Uncle Phil on the hit television sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” with Will Smith and Tatyana Ali has died. The television and film star passed on Tuesday Dec. 31 after complications from heart surgery according to The Wrap.

Avery most recently starred in the Lifetime television movie “Call Me Crazy: A Five Film”. The classically trained actor’s other credits included roles in ”Dancing in September”, “The Jeffersons”, “Hill Street Blues”, “The Brady Bunch Movie”, “Amen”, “L.A. Law”, “Fletch” and “Sparks”.

It was however his portrayal as the tough but loveable Uncle Phil on the NBC series with rap turned movie star Will Smith that endeared Avery to fans. The Golden Globe and Emmy nominated show ran from 1990 to 1996.

Actor Alphonso Ribeiro who played Avery’s son Carlton on the show reacted to his television father’s death on Twitter.

“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 who hailed from New Jersey was 68.

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