Uncle Phil Bel Air

James La Rue Avery, also known as Uncle Phil, was an American actor who was born on November 27, 1945. Aside from his role as Uncle Phil, he was also known for his roles as Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dr. Crippen on The Closer, Judge Michael Conover on L.A. Law, and many more.

He served in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War before becoming an actor, and he also wrote poetry and television scripts for PBS. He received his bachelor’s degree in drama and literature in 1976.

He began his acting career in the 1980s, appearing in shows such as Hill Street Blues, Brothers, Amen, FM, L.A. Law, and many others. He was also in That 70s Show. James Avery was also popular for his role as Uncle Phil in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air is an American sitcom which is created by Andy and Susan Borowitz. The show started premiering on September 10, 1990, on NBC and went on till May 20, 1996. The show is one of NBC’s top hits. The show revolves around Will Smith, who’s an African-American teenager and was born and raised in West Philadelphia. Will accidentally hit a group of gang members with a basketball.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Being afraid of a confrontation, his mother sends him to live with his wealthy aunt and uncle in Bel Air’s neighborhood. Will belonged to the working class, and his clashes with the upper class make the show humorous. James Avery played the role of Will’s uncle, uncle Phil.

Recently, a new version of the show titled Bel-Air premiered its second season on February 23, 2023, on Peacock. With the release of the second season of the revised version of the show, audiences want to know what happened to their favorite Uncle Phil.

What Happened to Uncle Phil?

The cast of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was seen together on the silver screen after twenty-six years in a reunion on HBO Max in November 2020. Will Smith, who portrayed Will Smith in the show along with his co-workers, paid tribute to James Avery, who died on December 31, 2013, due to complications in his open heart surgery.

At the time of his death, James was just 68 years old. James Avery played the role of Phillip Banks, Will’s rich uncle, in the show.

In the tribute during their reunion, which was aired in November of 2020 on HBO Max, the cast of the show described him as the heart of the show. They all broke down and shed tears while remembering him and the moments they spent with him. The Cast of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air recreated their favorite moments with James. While recreating a scene in a reconstructed living room, Will said that he (James) pushed him so hard.

Uncle Phil

Remembering his moments on the show with James, Will said that his (James) thing was that he (Will) is in such a unique position and that responsibility, he must elevate his craft. He said, “You have to represent, and you are paving a way, and he just wouldn’t give me an inch,” while remembering his now passed-away co-worker.

On the reunion, Will also said that James Avery was a 6 foot 4, Shakespearean beast, and he wanted him to think that he was good.

He also described one moment with him in which he fell into his arms at the end of s scene, and James’ is holding Will, and when the shot pans off, he whispers into Will’s ear Now That’s Acting. Smith remembered one of his favorite moments with Avery was during the shoot of the episode in which his on-screen father returns and abandons him again.

During the shooting, Will was desperate to impress James but kept on messing up with lines and started becoming furious and started berating himself. At that time, James told him to get himself together, and the next take was the endgame. After the scene, they both shared a hug that’s when James said Now That’s Acting. While watching James Avery’s scenes on the show, everyone’s eyes turned glossy, and their vision became blurry.

How did James Avery die?

James Avery died at Glendale Memorial Medical Center due to complications in his open heart surgery. He died on December 31, 2013, and was 68 years old at that time. James had several health problems and was suffering from coronary heart disease and end-stage kidney disease and was at stage two of diabetes.

Uncle Phil

After the actor’s death, Will Smith said that some of his greatest lessons in acting, living, and being a respectable human being came through James Avery. He also said that every young man needs an Uncle Phil in life and ended it by saying Rest in Peace.

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How did James Avery pass away?

On December 31, 2013, Avery died at the age of 68 at Glendale Memorial Medical Center. His publicist, Cynthia Snyder, told the Associated Press that Avery died following complications from open heart surgery.

What did Will Smith say about James Avery death?

“Some of my greatest lessons in Acting, Living and being a respectable human being came through James Avery,” Smith wrote. “Every young man needs an Uncle Phil. Rest in Peace.”

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