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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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311 COMMENTS

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31.

Woman Rising    

R.I.P. Uncle Phil -James Avery. You will be missed.

113 days ago
32.

loretta    

rip uncle phil

113 days ago
33.

cherub2200    

I am a an RN and some patients wait until their loved ones leave, they know they cant handle it. RIP he was a great actor that I grew up watching.

113 days ago
34.

lawanna lundy    

Didnt know he had a wife I thought they said he was gay

113 days ago
35.

Michaela    

wow. me and my friend were just talking about the show and now i find this out is just shocking.. r.i.p

113 days ago
36.

AG1983    

He was an amazing actor. I enjoyed every thing he was in . RIP

113 days ago
37.

Hot Chocolate    

Oh no, uncle Phil died. No character has penetrated culture of all races like Uncle Phil from the Fresh Prince Of Bel Air. Something about that show was bigger than only race. And Will Smith built it off his "no swear" clean cut image in music when everyone one else was swearing and being kind of uncivil.

He released a song called Parents Just Don't Understand with Jazzy Jeff and the white kids just loved it. It was a rap song by black people that white parents were okay with their kids listening to.

May Mr. Avery Rest In Peace. He's one of the most unforgettable characters in modern primetime tv.

113 days ago
38.

cwhite    

Noooooooo!!!!! He'll be greatly missed.My deepest condolences to his wife,family and friends.RIP "Uncle Phil"

113 days ago
39.

Da'Von    

Wow! Like I've always said you can be here today and gone tomorrow. RIP my brother I will see you again...

113 days ago
40.

Tionne    

AWWW R.I.P. Uncle Phil

113 days ago
41.

Valari J Greer (Jeannie)    

Night Fall, but day Dawns to Replace IT! Grief comes, but Time will ease The Pain! Life Ends, but death can NOT Erase It! In Memory, something Beautiful Remains! For We are Travelers HERE! Mere Spirits Passing Through! James Avery Dear Soul, May You Rest In GODS Eternal Love & Everlasting Peace & Comfort! Thank you for your shared Wonderful Life! Your Gifts, Talents & Charitable Contributions are your Legacy! Transcend & Go Forth in Peace Dear Soul & Retire knowing YOU are Highly Appreciated! GOD BLESS, KEEP & COMFORT THOSE LEFT TO BEREAVE IN YOUR PHYSICAL ABSENCE! Bєαųтïfųl Blєssïиgs Bєsтöwєd, Lσvє Alwαys '❥ღ

113 days ago
42.

Keyser Söze    

RIP

113 days ago
43.

Unbroken Chain    

Thats sad I liked that guy

113 days ago
44.

smorbie    

May God be with his family and loved ones during this time. He always seemed like one of the good guys.

113 days ago
45.

michelle brockway    

prayers and thoughts are with your family at this sad time.....will be greatly missed.....r.i.p big man xxxxx

113 days ago
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