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James Avery dead: 'Fresh Prince' actor dies at 65

James Avery
James AveryPhoto by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

James Avery has died. The actor best known for his role as Uncle Phil on "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" passed away on Dec. 31. Avery was at a hospital in Los Angeles following "surgery for an undisclosed illness." After the surgery Avery's health declined. According to TMZ, Avery's wife Barbara had been staying with him but he passed away when she went to get something to eat.

As of now, few details about what exactly happened to Avery have been made public. It is unclear what medical issues he had been suffering from or what his surgery pertained to. Those details may or may not become available as the media tries to pry over the next few days.

James Avery died at just 65-years-old. His television son, Alfonso Ribeiro posted the following message on Facebook about one hour ago:

"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."

© Effie Orfanides 2014