| Actor, poet|
| James Avery|
| James LaRue Avery|
November 27, 1945 (1945-11-27) Pughsville, Virginia, U.S.
Complications from open heart surgery
December 31, 2013, Glendale, California, United States
Barbara Avery (m. 1988–2013)
The Fresh Prince of Bel‑Air, The Prince of Egypt, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turt, Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n, Raise Your Voice
Alfonso Ribeiro, Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Janet Hubert, Will Smith
James Avery (actor) Wikipedia
James LaRue Avery (November 27, 1945 – December 31, 2013) was an American actor, comedian, voice over artist and poet. He played patriarch Philip Banks in the sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990−96). This character was ranked #34 in TV Guide's "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time." He also provided the voice of Shredder in the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles television series, as well as War Machine in the animated series Iron Man (1994−95) and Junkyard Dog in Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling (1985). He also played Michael Kelso's commanding officer at the police academy late in the series run of That '70s Show (2004).
Avery was born in Suffolk, Virginia on November 27, 1945 and raised in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He served in the Vietnam War as a member of the U.S. Navy from 1968–1969, after graduating high school. Later on, he moved to San Diego, California, where he began to write poetry and TV scripts for PBS.
He won an Emmy for production during his tenure there and then received a scholarship to UC San Diego, where he attended Thurgood Marshall College (then Third College), earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in drama and literature in 1976.
In addition to his fame in sitcoms, he did voice acting for many animated series, most notably the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series (as the voice of Shredder) and James Rhodes/War Machine in the 1990s Iron Man series.
Avery was the commencement speaker for his alma mater, UC San Diego's Thurgood Marshall College in 2007, and again in 2012.
In 1988, Avery married Barbara. He had no children of his own, but was a stepfather to his wife's son, Kevin Waters.
On December 31, 2013, Avery died aged 68, from complications following open heart surgery at Glendale Memorial Medical Center. He was survived by his mother, Florence Avery (1924–2016), as well as his wife and stepson.
Janet Hubert, who portrayed his original on-screen wife Vivian on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, said after his death, "RIP James, all the world is a stage, and we are all merely players in this production called LIFE." Will Smith commented on Avery's death by saying, "Some of my greatest lessons in Acting, Living and being a respectable human being came through James Avery. Every young man needs an Uncle Phil. Rest in Peace." Joseph Marcell called Avery a "gentle giant."
The song "No Role Modelz" from 2014 Forest Hills Drive by J. Cole pays tribute to Avery. It contains the lyric "First things first rest in peace Uncle Phil. For real, you the only father that I ever knew."
Avery's remains were later cremated and scattered near the Pacific Ocean.