Prolific actor James Avery died yesterday at a hospital in Glendale, CA; he was 65 years old.
According to TMZ a source close to Avery said he had undergone open heart surgery and taken a turn for the worse. The source also revealed that his wife Barbara, who had been at his bedside, left him for a short time only to be notified of his death when she returned. Prior to this Avery had recently been seen publicly using either a wheelchair or walking with a cane.
While Avery had an extensive roster of credits to his name it is his role as Philip Banks on the NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air that he is best-known for. Affectionately referred to as Uncle Phil on the series by star Will Smith, Avery played the role for the run of the series from 1990-1996 appearing in all but one of the 148 episodes.
Aside from his on-screen roles in film and television Avery was also a talented voice-over artist. He appeared in such animated projects as The Wild Thornberrys, Extreme Ghostbusters, Gargoyles and as Shredder on the original animated series for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Avery had three projects listed on his resume for 2013. The final being a television project entitled Go, Bolivia, Go!. A post on the show's official Facebook page, which currently has 100 likes, states it will be screening in January while IMDb shows that it was released in November.