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Fresh Prince of Bel Air star James Avery dies aged 65: Best known for playing 'Uncle Phil'

By James Legge

James Avery, the actor most famous for his role as the judge "Uncle Phil" Banks in the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, has died, according to reports. He was 65 years old.

Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Banks' son, Carlton, in the show, 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."

Avery's stern patriarch often clashed with a young Will Smith's cool teenage protagonist in the popular US show from the 1990s.

He also voiced the villain Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Avery's publicist, Cynthia Snyder, told the Associated Press that he died yesterday in Glendale, California, following complications from open heart surgery.


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