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James Avery dies at 65; played father figure on TV's 'Fresh Prince'

James Avery dies at 65; played father figure on TV's 'Fresh Prince'

James Avery, who portrayed the commanding yet cuddly father figure on the hit 1990s sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," died at a Glendale hospital Tuesday of complications from open heart surgery. He was 65.

His death was confirmed by his manager, Toni Benson.

Although trained as a Shakespearean actor, Avery won his widest audience in the role of Judge Philip Banks — "Uncle Phil" — on "Fresh Prince," which aired on NBC from 1990 to 1996.

Ranked No. 34 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time, the Navy veteran's stern, straight-arrow character provided a foil for series star Will...

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