JAMES AVERY, THE bulky character actor best known as Uncle Phil in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has died.
Avery’s publicist Cynthia Snyder told The Associated Press that Avery passed away yesterday in Glendale, California, following complications from open heart surgery. He was 65.
Avery played Will Smith’s uncle – the Honorable Philip Banks – on the 1990s sitcom. His movie credits included Fletch, The Prince of Egypt and 8 Million Ways to Die.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air ran for six seasons from 1990 to 1996, with a total of 148 episodes. It became a huge TV hit and has enjoyed a cult following ever since.
Here’s Uncle Phil in his prime:
- Additional reporting Michael Freeman