Fresh Prince Of Bel Air's Uncle Phil, James Avery, Dies
TV star was 65 years old...
Will Smith’s uptight uncle Philip Banks in the show that shot Smith to superstardom, James’ career spanned over 30 years. His first, uncredited, role was in 1980s film The Blues Brothers and he famously voiced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles villain Shredder during the ‘90s.
More recently, he had been working on Wish I Was Here, the Kickstarter-funded movie written by Scrubs star Zach Braff, which is scheduled to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival later this month.
Alfonso Ribeiro, who, on Fresh Prince, played Avery’s son Carlton, today tweeted: “I'm deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly.”
Meanwhile singer Tatyana Ali, who starred as James’ on-screen daughter Ashley wrote on the social networking site: “James was my teacher my protector & the most magnificent actor. We're feeling his loss very deeply. He'll always be a part of me.”
At time of writing Will Smith had yet to release a statement.
James’ death comes less a week after that of Fresh Prince co-creator Jeffrey Pollack, who passed away last Thursday.