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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

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76.

MickyC    

Avery served as a great TV father image on "Fresh prince" for millions of young black children and teens. R.I.P.

212 days ago
77.

edante    

Sad way to begin the year, we all lost an uncle. Adios tio Phil.

212 days ago
78.

allison    

he was 65...

212 days ago
79.

harryworgan    

hi

212 days ago
80.

Suzanne    

He was some one I always liked. He will be missed.

212 days ago
81.

xtina1313    

So sad. RIP Uncle Phil :'(

212 days ago
82.

Tameka Marshall    

Oh no...say it isn't so

212 days ago
83.

Imogene Gordon    

He will be missed. i love to watch him on fresh prince.R.I.P.

212 days ago
84.

dave1982    

R.I.P Shredder

212 days ago
85.

bon    

at 65' not 68'

212 days ago
86.

zachrodz    

He WAS Gay! No confusion. I used to wait on him and his little twinks over 20 years ago at HAMBURGER HAMLET! RIP.

212 days ago
87.

Aprilshinesregardless    

Rip uncle Phil u were the man!

212 days ago
88.

melanie53080    

Awe very sad rip uncle Phil an my thoughts an prayers to his wife an family!

212 days ago
89.

David johnson    

To much fried chicken . RIP fat boy

212 days ago
90.

Sugar    

Sorry to hear this sad news, rest in peace James. His wife shouldn't feel bad as God intended for it to happen that way. Heaven just got another angel....

212 days ago
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