James Avery of 'Fresh Prince' fame dead at 65

1/1/2014
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Obit-James-Avery

Joseph Marcell, left, as Geoffrey, and James Avery, right, as Philip Banks, in an episode of 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' in 1994.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Joseph Marcell, left, as Geoffrey, and James Avery, right, as Philip Banks, in an episode of 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' in 1994.
Joseph Marcell, left, as Geoffrey, and James Avery, right, as Philip Banks, in an episode of 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' in 1994.

NEW YORK  — James Avery, the bulky character actor who laid down the law as the Honorable Philip Banks in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” has died.

Avery’s publicist, Cynthia Snyder, told The Associated Press that Avery died Tuesday in Glendale, Calif., following complications from open heart surgery. He was 65.

Avery played Will Smith’s uncle on the popular TV series. His movie credits included “Fletch,” ‘’The Prince of Egypt” and “8 Million Ways to Die.”