Skip to main content
  1. Arts & Entertainment
  2. Celebrity

James Avery of 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' passes away at 68

See also

Anyone who loved the hit 1990’s sitcom, ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ also loved character Phillip Banks. James Avery, who starred as the man of the house passed away Tuesday, Dec. 31, according to his publicist and various news outlets. He was 68.

Grieving co-star Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton) tweeted of his on-screen father’s passing:
"I'm deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away," Riberio wrote. "He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly."

Jada Pinkett Smith, wife of "Fresh Price" star Will Smith (who co-starred as Uncle Phil's handful of a nephew), posted the couple's condolences Wednesday on her verified Facebook page.

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

Avery had been in ill health the past of couple years, and complications from open-heart surgery is what his manager Toni Benson has shared as the cause of death. He had surgery on Nov. 11 and died Tuesday evening at a hospital in Glendale, California, Benson shared.

Aside from being a likable actor, Avery was also a poet. He grew up in Atlantic New Jersey, where he was raised by a single mother. In addition to his dedication to the arts, Avery was a Veteran who served in the Navy during the Vietnam War.

After serving in the military, Avery began writing TV scripts and poetry from PBS.

He always knew he wanted to write, but had enjoyed theatre as well. Throughout his life, he appeared in various TV shows such as “CSI,” “That ‘70’s Show,” “The Closer,” and had several appearances as a judge on “L.A. Law.”

However, to ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ fans, the deep-voiced Avery will always be “Uncle Phil,” – the sometimes stern, but always loving man that simply always wanted the best for his family.

Avery is survived by his wife of 26 years - Barbara Avery, his mother Florence Avery, and stepson, Kevin Waters.

Advertisement

Arts & Entertainment

  • Miley Cyrus
    Find out why Miley Cyrus was forced to cancel a Kansas City 'Bangerz' show
    Video
    Today's Buzz
  • Kim Kardashian
    Watch Kim Kardashian transform from socialite to one of Hollywood's hottest moms
    Camera
    Celebrity Buzz
  • X-Men
    The final trailer for 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' is here, and it's marvelous
    Movie Buzz
  • Woman mugged
    A woman is mugged on live TV during a segment discussing the crime rate
    Pop Culture
  • Clint Lowery
    Exclusive: Clint Lowery talks about the new acoustic Sevendust album and much more
    Celebrity Q&A
  • Jermaine Jackson
    Jermaine Jackson shuts down filming of 'Celebrity Wife Swap' over hoarding accusations
    Video
    TV Buzz

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!