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Actor behind Fresh Prince's Uncle Phil dead

James Avery died from complications from open heart surgery

James Avery, the character actor who laid down the law as the Honorable Philip Banks in "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," has died.


Avery's publicist, Cynthia Snyder, tells The Associated Press that Avery passed away Tuesday in Glendale, California, following complications from open heart surgery. He was 65.


Avery played Will Smith's uncle on the popular TV series. His movie credits included "Fletch," "The Prince of Egypt" and "8 Million Ways to Die."


Actor Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Avery's TV son Carlton on Fresh Prince tweeted his sadness about the death of the man he says was like a second father to him.


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