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Fresh Prince patriarch James Avery dead at 65
Fresh Prince patriarch James Avery dead at 65

James Avery, who starred as Uncle Phil in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air died on New Year's Eve at the age of 65.

The actor who played as Uncle Phil's son, Alfonso Ribiero, shared the news on Twitter and also on his Facebook.

"The world has lost a truly special man. I am very saddened to say that James Avery has passed," Ribiero posted on Facebook.

"Even though he played my father on TV, he was a wonderful father figure to me in life. He will be deeply missed."

His wife, Barbara, was at the hospital when the star passed away.

Avery had recently checked into a Los Angeles hospital for surgery to treat an undisclosed illness before his condition took a turn for the worse, according to reports after the actor's death.

In addition to his role as uncle Philip Banks on the The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Avery also voiced 'Shredder' in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series and also appeared on Grey's Anatomy, Harry's Law and That '70s Show.

James Avery (centre) starred as Uncle Phil in the famed Fresh Prince of Bel Air series. Photo: Getty.