The new year opened to a sad note for the american show business industry as a veteran actor of american television and film passed away at age 65 (or 68 according to the National Public Radio) just before the year ended. James Avery, who played Uncle Phil to Will Smith’s ?Fresh Prince? in the TV show ?The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? died because of complications arising from heart surgery .
Cynthia Snyder, Avery’s publicist informed the AP and other media channels about Avery’s passing last Tuesday in California.
Avery has had a lucrative film and television career and was noted for his appearances in the movie ?Blues Brothers? as well as television shows like ?The A-Team?, ?Newhart?, and ?The Jeffersons?.
Avery also appeared in episodes of LA Law playing the character of Michael Conover, a court judge. He did voice-over work for the movie ?Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? doing the voice for ?Shredder?, the main villain character in the film.
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Video: James Avery Dead. Uncle Phil of Fresh Price Dies (TMZ / YouTube)
He will however be best remembered for playing Uncle Phil in the hit show starred by the then up and coming star Will Smith. Avery’s character grew into an important facet of the show providing Smith with a father figure for the six hit seasons that was shown for six years up to 1996. In 2011, the cast members of ?Fresh Prince? joined together for a charity project.
The former cast members have expressed their sadness over Avery’s passing. Avery’s son in the show ? Carlton- played by Alfonso Ribeiro ? had this to say ? The world has lost a truly special man. I am very saddened to say that James Avery has passed.? He added that ?Even though he played my father on TV, he was a wonderful father figure to me in life. He will be deeply missed.?
Having worked with Avery for so long in the early part of their star-studded careers, the husband and wife mega-team of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith developed a special kind of friendship with James Avery. As such, Jada was very open with her grief in her facebook page where she posted that ? I was hoping to start the new year differently but we have lost yet another friend. James Avery who we all lovingly know as Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince has passed…….Our condolences to aunt Florence (Avery’s mother), Miss Barbara (Avery’s wife) and all those who loved him. Rest in peace James. J.?
Twitter was also abuzz with Avery’s friends and fans expressing their sadness and grief all over the web these past days.
Some of them are listed below:
Anyways if like to say RIP JamesAvery. You certainly made my childhood a lot funnier. Rest in peace uncle Phil~h
RIP JamesAvery, the one and only Shredder. Signed, A former obsessed TMNT fan.
The first day of the new year and uncle Phil dies. R.I.P JamesAvery. You were father figure to the 90’s era
R.I.P JamesAvery aka Uncle Phil ? so heartbreaking to hear sending prayers to the family
For real though JamesAvery was the man. He was my favorite tv judge/uncle.
So sad to hear about the loss of uncle Phil from fresh prince (JamesAvery) RIP 🙁
R.I.P JamesAvery sad too see you go #RIPJamesAvery we love you man!!!!
Rest in peace James Avery ? The Bitbag Team.
Photo Sources: https://twitter.com/search?q=James%20Avery&src=typd