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Fresh Prince actor James Avery dies, aged 68

Published on Jan 2, 2014 11:00 AM
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United States actor James Avery arriving at the Palm Pre-Launch Event to Benefit Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America held at Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles, California, on June 3, 2009. Avery, most famous as Uncle Phil in hit 1990s sitcom The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, died on New Year's Eve aged 68, his publicist said on Wednesday. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - United States (US) actor James Avery, most famous as Uncle Phil in hit 1990s 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, as well as extensive voice work, including on animated projects.

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, who played a role model to the young Will Smith's character, a fictionalised rapper version of himself.

 
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