As many of us were ringing in the New Year, the sad news broke that actor James Avery, who many from our generation will remember as Philip Banks better known as Uncle Phil on the Will Smith led iconic ’90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, died on New Year’s Eve (December 31st) aged 68.
The star who grace the silver screen, television and stage in various roles over his long career, including providing the voice of Shredder in the cult classic animated series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles in the UK),
died on Tuesday evening in a hospital in Glendale, California from complications stemming from open heart surgery conducted back in November.
Fellow stars of the impactful sitcom series have publicly expressed their grief at Avery’s passing and their respect for the actor, including Alfonso Ribeiro who played his son Carlton Banks.
I'm deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly. pic.twitter.com/UrW0EeBFbO
— Alfonso Ribeiro (@alfonso_ribeiro) January 1, 2014
Rest In Power James Avery.