When you think of iconic television fathers, “The Fresh Prince’s” Uncle Phil always comes to mind, which is why we hate to report that the man who played this endearing character, James Avery, has passed.
TMZ just broke the news saying the 65-year-old actor died in a Glendale, CA hospital New Year’s eve. Avery had apparently undergone open heart surgery and suffered complications late yesterday. TMZ’s source says Avery’s wife, Barbara, had been at his bedside for most of the day but left for a short period of time and when she returned she was informed that her husband had passed. She and Avery had been married since 1988.
Alfonso Ribeiro expressed his sadness over this great loss on Twitter, writing:
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
Tatyana Ali also shared a tweet about Avery’s passing:
James was my teacher my protector & the most magnificent actor. We’re feeling his loss very deeply. He’ll always be apart of me #JamesAvery
— Tatyana Ali (@TatyanaAli) January 1, 2014
We know he certainly will be missed. Rest in peace. Check out other co-stars remembering James Avery in the video below.