Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/2/2014 (1 year 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 (1 year 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Celebrity

Audrey Hepburn's son shares insider stories of life with a Hollywood icon Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Growing up with Audrey Hepburn could have been something wonderful, with life in the spotlight all the time. Hepburn is still one of Hollywood's most celebrated icon and legendary film actress even after her death. Surprisingly though, life was not abnormal for her ... continue reading


'We've got to open our eyes': Walking Dead's David Morrisey stands up for Middle East refugees living in fear Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Walking Dead actor David Morrissey's first glimpse with the coast guard is of a boat represented by tiny as a dot on a radar screen. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - When Morrissey boarded the coast guard's boat in Lesvos, he already witnessed long lines ... continue reading


Matinee idol Omar Sharif dies at 83 Watch

Image of Omar Sharif's son Tarek revealed earlier this year that his father had been suffering from Alzheimer's. He had stopped eating and drinking the three days before his death.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Egyptian screen star and matinee idol Omar Sharif has died at the age of 83. Sharif was a screen heartthrob in his native land when producer Sam Spiegel cast him as Sherif Ali in 1962's "Lawrence of Arabia." Able to hold his own against lead Peter O'Toole, ... continue reading


From Christina Aguilera to Angelina Jolie, insider reveals how stars really behave during humanitarian missions Watch

Image of Angelina Jolie spending time with the children in one of her humanitarian missions.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A popular thing for celebrities to do nowadays is participate in humanitarian missions. In a report from the Guardian, an anonymous tipster revealed several "truths" behind these "orchestrated" visits and how the stars really behave during there missions in other ... continue reading


Pop star Katy Perry fights with nuns over rights to convent Watch

Image of Katy Perry visited with nuns expressing her desires for the property, but did not win them over.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Katy Perry is not only famous for her record-breaking hits, but her widely publicized feud with singer-songwriter Taylor Swift has also garnered some spotlight. However, it seems that Taylor Swift isn't the only one Katy Perry shares "Bad Blood" with. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


'Pastors have got to wake their congregations up': 'God's Not Dead' actor calls on pastors to get people involved in politics Watch

Image of Kevin Sorbo is known for his part in

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hollywood actor, Kevin Sorbo expressed the need for pastors to do something to motivate their congregations and "wake them up to do something for America," in a recent appearance on the Church Boys podcast. Sorbo, who played an atheist professor in the film "God's Not ... continue reading


A family man with faith: The unknown refreshing life of movie star Chris Pratt Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Chris Pratt, leading man in huge move blockbusters, like Guardians of the Galaxy, The Lego movie and more recently Jurassic World, which has earned $511.8 million in its opening weekend worldwide. Jurassic World is now dubbed the highest grossing global film. However, ... continue reading


'Rocky' movie producer Robert Chartoff dies at 81 Watch

Image of Robert Chartoff won the best picture Oscar for the first

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As a movie producer, he was prolific and tackled projects on various topics. He was most famous for the films he did on the sport of boxing. Oscar-winning producer Robert Chartoff, behind the "Rocky" series and "Raging Bull" has died in Santa Monica, ... continue reading


Iconic screen villain Christopher Lee dies at 93 Watch

Image of His turn as the Prince of Darkness in

By Greg Goodsell

When Christopher Lee assumed the cape of Count Dracula in the late 1950s in a series of films for Hammer Studios, there was talk among fans. Lee's Dracula was tall, imposing, lustful, a creature of violence, quite unlike the courtly gentleman as played by Bela ... continue reading


'Star Trek's' Nichelle Nichols suffers mild stroke Watch

Image of Among Nichelle Nichols' many fans was the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., who called her role

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Actress Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Nyota Uhura in the original "Star Trek" TV series and films, suffered a mild stroke this week. In a statement by Zach McGinnis of Galactic Productions, which books the 82-year-old Nichols and other actors for public ... 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, Leviticus 25:1, 8-17
1 Yahweh spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 67:2-3, 5, 7-8
2 Then the earth will acknowledge your ways, and all ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 14:1-12
1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 1st, 2015 Image

St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori
August 1: Bishop, Doctor of the Church, and the founder of the ... 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