TMZ reported Wednesday that Avery died of complications from his recent open heart surgery on Dec. 31, in a hospital in Glendale, CA. His wife, Barbara, left his side for a moment and found he had passed away shortly after she returned.
Aside from playing the first animated version of the arch nemesis to the Ninja Turtles, Avery was also known for playing the animated incarnation of '80s WWE wrestler, the Junkyard Dog, in the iconic "Hulk Hogan's Rock 'N' Wrestling," which aired for two seasons on CBS.
Outside of voice acting, many fans will also remember Avery as the beloved Philip Banks (mostly called "Uncle Phil") from the hit '90s sitcom, "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," which aired on NBC for six seasons. The show starred Will Smith, who played a street wise teenager from Philadelphia. After getting into some trouble with some neighborhood bullies, Will is sent to Bel-Air to live with his rich aunt and uncle and to learn how to be a respectable man.
Alfonso Ribeiro, best known as Carlton from the series, shared his feelings on the passing of his on-screen father through Twitter on Wednesday. "I'm deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away," Alfonso tweeted, along with a photo of Avery and his wife. "He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly."
Check out some of Avery's best known roles, including reuniting with the "Fresh Prince" cast in the slideshow above.