Some sobering news to report out of the entertainment world on this first day of 2014 as James Avery, better known as the loveable ‘Uncle Phil’ on the popular Fresh Prince of Bel Air television series has passed away at age 65.
James Avery — the beloved dad on “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” — has died at age 65 .. TMZ has learned. Sources close to the actor tell TMZ he died in an L.A. hospital last night. Avery had recently undergone surgery for an undisclosed illness and took a turn for the worse late yesterday.
As if that wasn’t awful enough, TMZ also reported that Avery’s wife, Barbara, left his bedside to get something to eat but when she returned, Avery had passed away.
Born in 1948, Avery was most known for his role as Phillip Banks on Fresh Prince but also was known for voicing the character Shredder in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles television series and made multiple cameo appearances on popular programs like That 70′s Show, CSI and Closer.
Avery participated in 148 episodes of Fresh Prince of Bel Air and was ranked as TV Guide’s 34th best television series ‘Dad’ of all-time and even spent time voicing video game characters as well.