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'Fresh Prince of Bel Air' Actor James Avery Dead at 65

'Fresh Prince of Bel Air' Actor James Avery Dead at 65

Longtime actor James Avery has died, according to TMZ.

He was 65 years old and had recently undergone open heart surgery, which produced complications last night. He died in a local hospital in Los Angeles with his wife Barbara at his side.

James famously played the character of Uncle Phil in the 90s favorite The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, alongside Will Smith. He had a long resume of roles, including guest stints on That 70s Show, Grey’s Anatomy, and most recently, The Young and the Restless.

UPDATE: JamesFresh Prince son Alfonso Ribeiro 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.”

Our thoughts go out to James‘ friends and family during this difficult time.

Just Jared on Facebook
Credit: Michael Tullberg; Photos: WENN
Posted to: James Avery, RIP

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  • cornflakes

    Why is everyone dying? R.I.P. He did a great job and he will always be in our hearts.

  • ok…

    r.i.p. James Avery a.k.a. Uncle Phil

  • go go

    RIP, so sad, never missed this show when it was on!

  • Lindsay

    NOO not uncle phil! rest in peace <3

  • Amber

    I loved this guy so much on Fresh Prince as a kid. RIP Uncle Phil.

  • Mrs. Gaston

    wow, what a sad way to start the new year! may he rest in peace.

  • Kat

    Really? With all the photos of this man, THAT’S the one you use announcing his death? Kinda tasteless.

  • miss infamous


  • Cmon

    Seriously, this was the best picture you had of him?

  • Mel

    Awww…not Uncle Phil. Too sad. RIP.

  • Sam

    Really JJ? You couldn’t find a better picture of this man? How tragic. Have some respect and get better pictures. RIP Uncle Phil

  • RIP

    He was a big man with health issues and likely a family history of heart problems. Except for in rare cases, we should all make it to at least 70. I have no doubt his health habits played a huge role in why he is not with us today. That’s sad because he was a beautiful, caring human being.

  • Cate

    RIP James Avery. This is so sad. I loved him as Uncle Phil on Fresh Prince of Bel Air and always enjoyed his acting and presence in other projects. My thoughts and sympathies with his loved ones.

  • Ellie

    R.I.P. Mr Avery. So sad… :(

  • James

    It seems like a lot of celebrities have died from complications from surgery. It makes you wonder if it would be safer just to avoid the surgery in the first place.

  • Elaine

    RIP his friends family and fans will miss this multi talented actor

  • Denise Belfon

    R.I.P Uncle Phil, I was very fortunate to have met up with him once in Los Angeles, He was really nice to me, You will be truly missed.

  • rossy

    First off, I too add my sincere condolences to his family & friends on his passing. He was a wonderful actor & upon hearing of his passing, a scene from ‘Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ came to mind: Will’s dad had just let him down AGAIN (adlibbed by Will Smith – followed perfectly by Mr. Avery) & both actors played it flawlessly. Made me cry.
    To justjared: Other sites are reporting that he was 68, not 65…