James Avery has died, he was the actor who played Uncle Phil on the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air." Avery played the part of Will Smith’s uncle on the show. According to USA Today on Jan. 1, He was 65-years-old.
Avery died at an L.A. hospital from complications of his recent open-heart surgery. Already a member of his “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” family has released a statement. Alfonso Riberio, who played Avery’s son on the show tweeted:
"I'm deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly."
So far there’s no word from Will Smith, who was the star of that show as he was the “Fresh Prince.”
Besides his role on the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” Avery’s role on “The Closer” as Dr. Crippen and Judge Michael Conover in “L.A. Law” were more recent. He also played Walter Carter in “Soul Food,” Alfonzo Sparks in “Sparks” and Reverend Crawford in “Amen.”
“The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” was Will Smith’s launching pad for his career and his interactions with Avery as his uncle were priceless. The cast that played a family with the cameras on were very much like a family when the cameras shut down.
Ribeiro saying that Avery was “like a second father” to him, mirrored the feelings of the other stars from that show. Throughout the years since the show stopped production, the other cast members have reported on how close the cast was in various interviews.
According to CNN today, Avery is survived by his wife Barbara Avery. The couple were married for 26 years. Avery is also survived by his mother, Florence Avery of Atlantic City, and a stepson, Kevin Waters.