Uncle Phil in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air dies

By Drum Digital
02 January 2014

James Avery, best known as Will Smith’s Uncle Phil in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has died aged 65.

James Avery, best known as Will Smith’s Uncle Phil in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has died aged 65.

Avery passed away on Tuesday in California, due to complications from open-heart surgery, his publicist Cynthia Snyder said.

Avery was the stern voice of reason in his nephew Will’s life, before growing into somewhat of a father figure in the six seasons of Fresh Prince, from 1990 to 1996.

Avery was a good friend of Jada Pinkett Smith and husband Will Smith, and Pinkett Smith paid tribute on Facebook while wishing her fans a Happy New Year.

"I was hoping to start the new year differently but we have lost yet another friend. James Avery who we all lovingly know as Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince has passed,’’ she wrote.

‘‘Our condolences to aunt Florence (his mother), Miss Barbara (his wife) and all those who loved him. Rest in peace James. J.’’

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