Actor James Avery passed away Tuesday night at the age of 68. EW reported his passing on Jan. 1. Avery reportedly had open heart surgery and died in a Glendale, California hospital due to complications.
Avery is best known for his role as Uncle Phil on the hit TV show “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”. Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Carlton on the show, was one of the first to express his condolences via Twitter. Other celebrities have followed with tweets expressing their sadness over the loss of a great man and actor.
Avery was a Navy veteran who served during the Vietnam War. He was also a strong supporter of the USO. The USO took to their Facebook account Jan. 2 to express their sympathy to Avery’s family. They stated that he may be best known for portraying Uncle Phil but to the USO “he was a friend and supporter of our troops and military families”. They went on to acknowledge his USO tour participation in 2002, 2003 and 2004.
James Avery has impacted many lives and will be missed greatly. His other acting credits include too many to list, but do include roles on “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Charmed”.
Avery is survived by wife, mother and stepson.