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'Fresh Prince' Uncle James Avery Dies at 68

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Actor and beloved uncle James Avery, the man who first taught Will Smith the value of being a family's powerful and affluent patriarch, has reportedly died at the age of 68. TMZ reports Avery died Tuesday night in Glendale, CA following complications from open heart surgery.

While the IMDb credits the actor with over 170 film and television appearances, Avery will undoubtedly be best remembered as the honorable Philip Banks, aka Uncle Phil, on definitive early '90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Likely to a similar group of mourners, he will also either be fondly remembered or just now realized as having provided the voice of Shredder in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series. If only there was a solemn, doleful way to Carlton Dance.

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