The ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ made Will Smith famous. Smith was terrific on the sitcom we loved as children, but we would be remiss if we didn’t include the rest of the cast when praising the show. One of those exceptional characters was Uncle Phil played by James Avery. Sadly, Avery passed away on New Years Eve at the age of 65.
His passing was confirmed by his publicist. Fellow co-star Alfonso Ribeiro Tweeted the following: “I’m deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly.” Avery was just a short period of time removed from open heart and died from complications from the surgery.
Avery was a classical trained actor and poet, who grew up in Atlantic City, NJ. He served in the Navy in the Vietnam War and first appeared on-screen as an uncredited actor in the 1980′s film ‘The Blues Brothers’. RIP Uncle Phil. You will be missed.
Image via Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images