Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

France's Plan to Tackle Racism

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Marine Le Pen and Thomas Piketty in Time magazine's power list; EU takes on Google; Gunter Grass dies (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Deadly Crossing: Migrants desperate to reach Europe; Abadi in Washington (part 1)

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Xenophobic attacks in South Africa: anti-violence marches and anti immigration protest

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French PM outlines action plan against racism, anti-Semitism

Read more

REPORTERS

Turkey’s hidden Armenians search for stolen identity

Read more

REVISITED

Families of slain Marikana miners still demanding justice

Read more

#TECH 24

Europe vs. Google: EU accuses search giant of market dominance abuse

Read more

#THE 51%

Women in America: Land of the free, home to the less-paid

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)