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'Fresh Prince' Actor James Avery Dies

Uncle Phil on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," dies at age 65.
Actor James Avery, best known for his role as Uncle Phil on the 90's sitcom, "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," has died.

Avery's publicist confirms the actor passed away last night (Tuesday Dec 31).

He was 65 years old.

Born James La Rue Avery in Virginia, Avery was raised in Atlantic City. After high school, he served in the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1969 as a member of the U.S. Navy. After returning home, Avery moved to San Diego, where he wrote poetry and TV scripts for PBS, including the Emmy Award-winning production, "Ameda Speaks: Poet James Avery."

Avery's publicist tells CNN he recently suffered complications from open-heart surgery.

Avery's "Fresh Prince" co-star Alfonso Ribeiro, who played "Carlton Banks" spoke out about Avery's passing on twitter... Saying, "He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly."

Avery is survived by his wife of 26 years, Barbara, his stepson, Kevin Waters, and his mother, Florence
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