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'Fresh Prince' Dad James Avery Dies

Dead At 68

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

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.

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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Hot Dumb Italian Mike    

Best Fresh Prince episode; Will and Carlton have the party while Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv are away , each has different stories. They see Uncle Phil coming home via shaking glass from "Jutassic Park".......brilliant!

206 days ago

Angel Morado    

R.I.P. My Atlantic City native. It was fun watching you on t.v. You were a stand-up guy. My family always talked about you and how you're from A.C. you all were friends and from Atlantic City. Atlantic City has lost another star, but all of us natives are making sure your legacy lives on.

206 days ago

Jose Fajardo    

He died at 65... not 68

206 days ago

Samir P    

Rest In Peace, love his show and him

206 days ago

Joshua Wells    

May God bless the family of Mr James Avery aka uncle Phil John 14chapter vs 1 and pslam 23

206 days ago


Some memorable moments of great actor......

206 days ago


68? Yesterday he was 65!

206 days ago


Some memorable moments of great actor......

206 days ago


Rest in Peace, Sir.
On a side note: it is not unusual that when a patient knows that they are going to die, they send loved ones to get coffee or a bite to eat so then can die without the family there watching. It is hard watching a loved one die and what he did was noble.

206 days ago


The White House
As of yesterday:
Insurers can't charge you more
or deny you coverage
for a pre-existing condition.

‪#‎GetCovered‬ →

206 days ago


Oh no, Loved that show...RIP Uncle Phil

206 days ago


my heart goes out to his family, he will be missed by all he entertained :) The good thing is that he will be remembered for years to come thanks to reruns :)

206 days ago

Just My Opinion    

If you want to leave an online note and flowers for the big guy. Here is the link to do so.

206 days ago

Bubbles The Chimp    

That really sucks. Why couldn't it be Will Smith, God!!!

206 days ago


This man was so sweet and humble, as was his costar Joseph Marcell. Met them on the set and never forgot how kind and friendly they were. I had met the whole cast, but these two were standouts. Awesome, lovely people (the kind you would hope to have as your neighbors.) RIP

206 days ago
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