James Avery, known for his role as Uncle Phil on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, passed away on December 31, after suffering from complications during surgery.
TMZ reported that Avery was admitted to a hospital in Glendale, CA to undergo open-heart surgery. After the completion of the surgery, Avery’s health worsened, and he soon passed after suffering from complications. Avery’s publicist, Cynthia Snyder confirmed his death.
Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Uncle Phil’s son Carlton, was one of the first of Avery’s co-stars to address his death. Ribeiro took to Twitter to mourn the loss of the man that he considered a father figure. He tweeted: “I’m deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly.”
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air made a six-season run from 1990 to 1996 on NBC, and the network aired 148 episodes in all. The show is now considered one of the best 90s sitcoms of all time.
I'm deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly. pic.twitter.com/UrW0EeBFbO
— Alfonso Ribeiro (@alfonso_ribeiro) January 1, 2014
Avery is survived by his wife of 26 years, Barbara Avery; his mother, Florence Avery; and his stepson, Kevin Waters.
Image via NDN