Wednesday, January 1, 2014

James Avery Dead at 65

Actor James Avery, who played Uncle Phil on the hit 1990s sitcom THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR, died Tuesday, his publicist confirmed. He was 65.

His FRESH PRINCE co-star Alfonso Ribeiro tweeted news of Avery's passing.

"I'm deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away," Riberio tweeted. "He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly.

A classically trained actor and poet, Avery grew up in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where he was raised by a single mother. He served in the Navy during the Vietnam War and first appeared onscreen as a dancer in an uncredited role in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers.

According to IMDb, after he served in the military, Avery moved to San Diego, California, where he began writing TV scripts and poetry for PBS.

"I knew I loved the arts," Avery said in an interview for the show UNSCRIPTED. "I knew I wanted to be a writer, but the theater was something I had been involved in before."

Avery appeared in multiple TV shows and movies including L.A. LAW, GREY'S ANATOMY, CHARMED, SOUL FOOD and THE CLOSER. He was also the voice of Shredder in TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES.

In 2012 Avery played Judge Roy Daley on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS. The judge dismissed Phyllis' case and blamed Christine for lying about her job at the time of the hit-and-run.

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