James Avery of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” has died. According to TMZ, the star passed away on the night of December 31st. The actor had been hospitalized in Los Angeles recently in order to have surgery. The exact nature of his ailment was unclear at the time of this writing. However, his condition apparently worsened sometime yesterday evening. His wife, who had been keeping vigil at his bedside, took a brief break. When she returned, she learned that her husband had died.
A classically-trained actor, James Avery was probably most famous for his portrayal of Will Smith's uncle, Philip Banks, on “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” The NBC sitcom ran from 1990 through 1996. Avery was also a well-respected voice actor. He was the voice of “The Shredder” in 1987's “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and he voiced “James Rhodes” in the “Iron Man” series. James Avery was 65 years old. May he rest in peace.