According to Fox News, Fox 411, James Avery, who played the Honorable Philip Banks on the show, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” has died following complications from open-heart surgery.
Avery’s publicist, Cynthia Snyder, told The Associated Press that Avery died Tuesday in Glendale, Calif. He was 68.
According to TMZ, Avery recently underwent surgery. His wife, Barbara Avery, was at the hospital at the time of his death.
Avery starred in Fresh Prince with Will Smith from 1990 to 1996. Smith called him, Uncle Phil. He played the father to his on-screen son Carlton, Alfonso Ribeiro, who posted condolence on his social media account:
I’m deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly. pic.twitter.com/UrW0EeBFbO
— Alfonso Ribeiro (@alfonso_ribeiro) January 1, 2014
Avery went on to appear in several other TV series, including The Jamie Foxx Show, The Division, That ’70s Show, The Closer and Grey’s Anatomy.
Other credits include, “Fletch,” “The Prince of Egypt” and “8 Million Ways to Die.”
The father and Judge role portrayed by Philip Banks was an inspiration to families everywhere.
R.I.P. James Avery