Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

France: 2014 in review

Read more

#THE 51%

South Africa: Taking a stand against child marriage

Read more

DEBATE

The Future of the Book

Read more

DEBATE

The Future of the Book (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

France 24’s best documentaries of 2014

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'We have to build a new Tunisia', says the president of the Tunisian Parliament

Read more

FACE-OFF

France on alert after attacks: a case of collective hysteria?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'Beijing needs to revaluate its policy in the Tibetan areas', says FM of the Tibetan government-in-exile

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Uruguay: freed Guantanamo detainees try to adjust to normal life

Read more

Culture

'Fresh Prince' actor James Avery dies aged 68

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-01-02

US actor James Avery, most famous for his role as Uncle Phil in the 1990s TV hit sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," died on New Year's Eve aged 68, his publicist said on Wednesday.

With a deep baritone voice, Avery regularly played judges, professors or doctors in TV shows in the 1980s and 90s.

His first big-screen role was an uncredited part in 1980s classic "The Blues Brothers," and he enjoyed a prolific TV and movie career stretching over three decades.

But the role most people will remember him for is as Philip Banks on the 1990s NBC series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, in which he played a role model to the young Will Smith's character, a fictionalised rapper version of himself.

The sitcom, which aired from 1990 to 1996, was set in the Banks' mansion, to which Smith's character was sent from Philadelphia when things got tough in his own neighbourhood. Fans came to know the imposing Banks as ``Uncle Phil”.

"I'm deeply saddened to say James Avery has passed away," Fresh Prince co-star Alfonso Ribeiro tweeted. "He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly."

Born James LaRue Avery in Virginia and raised in New Jersey, he had worked until September, shooting the film "Wish I Was Here" directed by Zach Braff, which will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this month.

Avery died late Tuesday in hospital in Glendale, outside Los Angeles, "due to complications from open heart surgery," his publicist Cynthia Snyder told AFP in an email.

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

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and AP)

Date created : 2014-01-02

COMMENT(S)