James Avery, well-known American TV actor, who became popular with his portrayal of Uncle Phil on the siticom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air died Tuesday, December 31 in Glndale Calif out of complications that arose from open heart surgery. The actor was 68 years old.
James Avery played the role of Uncle Phil, a rich man who provides a stable home environment to Smith's character. The show, that ran from 1990-1996 was a huge hit among the audience and will be remembered for bringing hip-hop culture and its foot tapping rap theme song.
This character of Uncle Phil was ranked #34 in TV Guide's "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time." James Avery also had provided the voice of Shredder in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles television series, as well as War Machine in the animated series Iron Man and Junkyard Dog in Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling. The talented actor also played Michael Kelso's commanding officer at the police academy late in the series run of That '70s Show.
James Avery, who was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, also appeared on TV shows such as L.A. Law and The Closer. He married his wife Barbara in 1988, but had no children of his own. However, his wife had a son named Kevin Waters.
Actor Will Smith's Twitter page retweeted the news about Avery's death.