Actor James Avery, who played Wil Smith’s uncle, the Honorable Phillip Banks, has passed away at the age of 68.
Sources close to the actor say he died in a Glendale, California hospital last night. Avery had undergone open heart surgery and took a turn for the worse.
Alfonso Ribeiro who played Avery’s son on “Fresh Prince” posted this message on his Facebook page.
“The world has lost a truly special man. I am very saddened to say that James Avery has passed. Even though he played my father on TV, he was a wonderful father figure to me in life. He will be deeply missed.”
Avery played Will Smith’s uncle on the popular TV series and was called Uncle Phil. His movie credits included “Fletch,” “The Prince of Egypt” and “8 Million Ways to Die.” He also appeared in “Grey’s Anatomy,” “That ’70s Show” “Charmed” and “That’s So Raven.”