'Uncle Phil,' actor James Avery dies after heart surgery
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
1/2/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Actor James Avery, perhaps best known for playing the irascible Uncle Phil on the 1990s sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," has died at the age of 68. Avery suffered complications from open-heart surgery performed in November and passed away in a Glendale hospital earlier this week.
James Avery is survived by his wife of 26 years, Barbara Avery; his mother, Florence Avery of Atlantic City; and a stepson, Kevin Waters.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Playing Philip Banks, Avery portrayed the loving uncle to Will Smith's character on the show. "He strove to present an Uncle Phil that everybody wishes was their uncle," actor Joseph Marcell, who played the family butler Geoffrey on that program said.
Avery took the program very seriously as it depicted the "striving of the African-American ought to have been shown on television," Marcell said.
Jada Pinkett Smith, wife of Will Smith, posted the couple's condolences Wednesday on her verified Facebook page. "Our condolences to aunt Florence (his mother), Miss Barbara (his wife) and all those who loved him," Pinkett Smith wrote.
Avery 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." Classically trained he was a native of Atlantic City, New Jersey, where he was raised by a single mother.
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. "I knew I wanted to be a writer, but the theater was something I had been involved in before." Avery other roles in TV shows and movies included "CSI," "That '70s Show," "The Closer" and several appearances as a judge on "L.A. Law."
Avery was a favorite casting choice for the roles judges, professors and doctors, he was in high demand as a voice actor. If you're a certain age, you may recall his voice as Shredder in the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" series and James "Rhodey" Rhodes in the 1990s animated series version of "Iron Man."
"The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," which aired from 1990 to 1996, was Avery's finest hour. Former rap star Will Smith starred as a Philadelphia teenager sent to live with his wealthy Los Angeles relatives. As Banks, a former civil rights activist and Harvard Law-trained attorney, Avery provided a role model for Smith's sometimes wild character.
While an elegant and eloquent individual, Avery could be forthright. "You can either be a movie star or an actor. I'm an actor," Avery said. "(But) I've done pretty good," he said in a 2007 interview.
He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Barbara Avery; his mother, Florence Avery of Atlantic City; and a stepson, Kevin Waters.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for OCTOBER 2017
Workers and the Unemployed. That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.
His greatest accomplishment was his family - Jerry Lewis passes away at 91 after a lifetime of achievement Watch
Family man, comedian and filmmaker, Jerry Lewis died on Sunday at his home in Las Vegas, surrounded by loved ones. He was 91. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading
Kim Kardashian may be one of the most famous American celebrities, and she is worth a fortune. That's why it's baffling she would desecrate ... continue reading
Ron Howard and Henry Winkler mourn the loss of 'Happy Days' costar Erin Moran, who passed away at only 56-years-old Watch
Erin Moran, the beautiful actress best known for her role as Joanie Cunningham in "Happy Days" has passed away at only 56-years-old. LOS ... continue reading
On her fifth anniversary of sobriety, singer/songwriter Demi Lovato posted a message thanking God for breaking the curse of addiction from ... continue reading
Catholic nuns sickened by Katy Perry's link to witchcraft as they fight to stop her purchase of sacred convent Watch
In 2014, singer/songwriter Katy Perry paid a visit to Boston, MA and took place in an event called the Salem Witch Walk. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Skeptic explores demonic possession, admits it can be 'very real' HD ...
- Pope Francis speaks about putting God first and reality
- St. Anthony Mary Claret: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, October 24, 2017
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, October 24, 2017
- Day 2 - Novena to the Saints in Heaven for the saints on earth HD Video
- Skeptic filmmaker explores demonic possession, admits it can be 'very ...
- Are you called to be a missionary? The answer is YES YOU ARE!
- Day 1 - Novena to the Saints in Heaven for the saints on earth HD
- Evil money - George Soros pays to start a revolution in America HD
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, October 24th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way