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‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ Star James Avery Dead at 65

James Avery
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

James Avery, best remembered as Uncle Phil, the fatherly foil to Will Smith‘s ne’er do well, titular teenager on ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,’ has died. He was 65.

Avery had recently undergone open heart surgery and passed away due to complications from the procedure, according to TMZ. Avery reportedly died at a hospital in Los Angeles last night (Dec. 31).

His wife, Barbara, remained with Avery during his illness, and she left his bedside for a brief moment, returning to find out that he died while she stepped away.

Avery also appeared on ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘The Closer’ and a variety of other TV shows throughout his career. Last year, he starred in three TV movies, so he was still active in his career.

Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Carlton, the son of Avery’s character on the show, posted a tweet to express his sorrow over his co-star’s passing, saying: “I’m deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly.”

R.I.P., Uncle Phil.

Next: See the Most Shocking Celeb Deaths of 2013

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