Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

'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.




No Avatar


rip uncle phil

274 days ago


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.

274 days ago

lawanna lundy    

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

274 days ago


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

274 days ago


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

274 days ago

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.

274 days ago


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

274 days ago


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

274 days ago


AWWW R.I.P. Uncle Phil

274 days ago

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

274 days ago

Unbroken Chain    

Thats sad I liked that guy

274 days ago


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

274 days ago

michelle brockway    

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

274 days ago


That sucks! R.I.P.

274 days ago


So sad, a really great actor. Praying for his wife, family and friends.

274 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web