Beloved veteran actor James Avery has passed away at the age of 68. Avery checked into a Los Angeles hospital in December due to an undisclosed illness, and his condition took a turn for the worse.
The classically trained actor and scholar is best known for his role as Uncle Phillip Banks on classic sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air". Avery's television son Alfonso Ribeiro broke the news saying: "The world has lost a truly special man. I am very saddened to say that James Avery has passed. Even though he played my father on TV, he was a wonderful father figure to me in life. He will be deeply missed."
Avery also lent his voice to various animated television series, appeared in several feature films including "License to Drive" and "The Brady Bunch Movie", and hosted a popular travel series. He also guest starred on practically every American TV series produced in the 1980s.