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'Fresh Prince' Dad James Avery Dies

Dead At 68

1/1/2014 10:11 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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James Avery -- the beloved dad on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" -- has died at age 68 ... TMZ has learned.

Sources close to the actor tell TMZ he died in a Glendale, CA hospital last night. Avery had undergone open heart surgery and took a turn for the worse late yesterday. 

And we're told ... his wife, Barbara, had been at his bedside but left for a short period of time and when she came back ... she learned he had just died.

Alfonso Ribeiro -- who played Avery's son on "Fresh Prince" -- just posted a message on his Facebook page.

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Avery starred in dozens of TV shows through the years -- shows like "Grey's Anatomy," "The Closer," "L.A. Law," and "The Jeffersons."  This past year, he appeared in three TV movies -- most recently, "Go, Bolivia, Go!" -- but didn't appear to have other projects in the works.

Avery reunited with most of his "Fresh Prince" cast -- including Will Smith --  two years ago at a charity event.

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308 COMMENTS

No Avatar
151.

IceGypsy    

Great character actor who never failed to make me laugh. That was s a great gift to us all. RIP James

205 days ago
152.

RaineeDrops    

Very sad for his family and friends to lose him yet so young, he was so funny on that show.

205 days ago
153.

Andrew Berry    

Rest in peace, James Avery, a.k.a Uncle Phil. You will be truly missed. :(

205 days ago
154.

southsidequeen    

He was a class act. They do not make them like the used to. Loved every episode of Fresh Prince. RIP.

205 days ago
155.

INGRID williams    

OMG !!!! SO SAD UNCLE PHIL U WILL BE MIS BY ALOT R.I.P

205 days ago
156.

jcb45    

Rest in peace Uncle Phil you always made me laugh.
You will be missed my thoughts and prayers go out to your family.

205 days ago
157.

Tabilynnb     

Hire a new fact checker! James was only 65.

205 days ago
158.

Tabilynnb     

Don't rely on Wikipedia, TMZ. Wikipedia is a fee board anyone can add info to. IMDB on the other hand is done by the actor or agent/manager usually, sometimes a family member. IMDB says he was born Nov. 27, 1948, making him 65. Other reputable news sources also list his age at 65.

205 days ago
159.

myopinion    

R.I.P. Mr. Avery

205 days ago
160.

Nancymonio    

So sad to hear that James Avery (Uncle Phil) passed away. I loved watching him on TV. RIP

205 days ago
161.

tigress75422    

He will be missed greatly. Loved fresh prince. Taught me a lot. RIP James avery

205 days ago
162.

cynt    

R.I.P.

205 days ago
163.

dd    

RIP

205 days ago
164.

De_Vision    

What a way to start the new years eh?

205 days ago
165.

MS.FLOWERBOMB    

R.I.P UNCLE PHIL U WILL BE MISSED AND I STILL WATCH FRESH PRINCE AND WILL ALWAYS CONTINUE TO KEEP WATCHING IT YOU WILL ALWAYS BE LOVED

205 days ago
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