Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/2/2014 (10 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Actor played comically stern relation on 'The Fresh Prince of Bel Air'

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.

James Avery is survived by his wife of 26 years, Barbara Avery; his mother, Florence Avery of Atlantic City; and a stepson, Kevin Waters.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/2/2014 (10 months ago)

Published in Celebrity

Keywords: James Avery, actor, death, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air


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.



---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Celebrity

Hilarious viral video: Comedienne does 14 celebrity impressions while in traffic Watch

Image of With a short brown wig, Lauren O'Brien does a perpetually perky Ellen DeGeneres who lets the world know that a traffic jam is not going to get her down!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Is it safe to do celebrity impersonations behind the wheel of a car? Probably not, but the end result from comedienne Lauren O'Brien does 14 celebrity mock-ups while driving, and the result was video viral gold - her impersonations are hilariously spot on and ... continue reading


Hollywood's longest and most successful marriages: What's their secret? Watch

Image of Christopher Walken has these Hollywood couples all beat; married to casting director Georgianne Walken, this couple has been together since 1969, for a total of 45 years!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hollywood celebrities are notorious for short-lived marriages. Film stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and Zsa Zsa Gabor can both boast of being married eight different times. There are the exceptions: Some Hollywood couples take their marriage vows very, very ... continue reading


Lebanese singer gives Arab world a scare - by wearing a dress that's barely there! Watch

Image of Haifa Wehbe is clearly on one side of the debate within Arab society. The dreaded Islamic State represents the other extreme in people's minds.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A dress worn by famous Lebanese pop star Haifa Wehbe - a slinky, revealing number on TV has caused a great hue and cry over Arab social media sites, chiefly from women. Wehbe performed a song during a live episode of "Arab Star Academy," a pan-Arab TV music ... continue reading


Director Mike Nichols of 'The Graduate' dies at 83 Watch

Image of Actress Meryl Streep, one of his most frequent collaborators, once said of Mike Nichols,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Acclaimed film director Mike Nichols, who made such films as "The Graduate," which earned him a best director Oscar, and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," has died at the age of 83. Married to ABC News veteran Diane Sawyer, Nichols claimed success in both ... continue reading


Fitness guru Richard Simmons reported to be down in dumps, reclusive Watch

Image of Unseen for months, some say the death of Richard Simmons' beloved pet Dalmatian is reportedly the reason behind his depression. His 17-year-old dog Hattie's passing has drove him to despair.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Perpetually perky fitness guru Richard Simmons hasn't been seen publicly for some time now and he's reportedly deeply depressed. It's almost not possible to think of Simmons in a bad mood, as he led millions away from a sedentary lifestyle to far more vibrant ... continue reading


Bad boy movie director Quentin Tarantino says he will retire after his 10th film Watch

Image of Bad boy movie director Quentin Tarantino -- looking smug!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bad boy movie director Quentin Tarantino says that he intends to retire from filmmaking altogether following the completion of his tenth film.  "I don't believe you should stay onstage until people are begging you to get off," he told an American Film Market ... continue reading


'House of Cards' star Elizabeth Norment dies of cancer at 61 Watch

Image of Elizabeth Norment, who played the loyal secretary to Kevin Spacey's character on

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Especially tragic is the case of an actor who finally wins the spotlight and attention of popular audiences, only to die before their prime. Elizabeth Norment, who played the loyal secretary to Kevin Spacey's character on "House of Cards" on Netflix has died of ... continue reading


'Welcome Back Kotter' star Marcia Strassman dies at 66 Watch

Image of Marcia Strassman was the familiar, flustered housewife Gabe Kaplan came home to after the day spent with his

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

She was a familiar face on TV's "Welcome Back Kotter" back in the 1970s. She was the familiar, flustered housewife Gabe Kaplan came home to after the day spent with his "sweathogs." Actress Marcia Strassman has lost her battle with breast cancer. She was 66. ... continue reading


Acclaimed actress arrested by L.A. cops who thought she was prostitute Watch

Image of Whatever the investigation will yield, there's little doubt that a lasting shame will linger over the fact that one of the stars of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Acting in an acclaimed film doesn't count or much street respect in Los Angeles, it appears. Actress Danielle Watts, who appeared as the slave maid "CoCo" in "Django Unchained" was mistaken for a prostitute by the Los Angeles Police Department while she kissed ... continue reading


James Bond villain 'Jaws' Richard Kiel dies at 74 Watch

Image of Richard Kiel was best known as the steel-toothed James Bond villain Jaws in

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

He was big: seven feet, two inches tall. He was not conventionally handsome. That didn't stop Richard Kiel from enjoying his career as a movie star. While he was in countless movies and TV shows, Kiel was probably best known as the steel-toothed villain "Jaws" ... continue reading


All Celebrity News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9
1 After this, I saw another angel come down from ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:2, 3, 4, 5
2 serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:20-28
20 'When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 27th, 2014 Image

St. James Intercisus
November 27: James was a favorite of King Yezdigerd I of Persia and a ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter