Veteran actor James Avery, best known for his role as Uncle Phillip Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, died Tuesday night. He was 67.
UPDATE: In a statement from Avery’s publicist, EW has confirmed that Avery died as a result of complications from open heart surgery in Glendale, Calif., on Tuesday night. His most recent project was Wish I Was Here, directed by Zach Braff, which is slated to premiere at Sundance. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Avery, mother, Florence Avery, and stepson Kevin Waters.
Former Fresh Prince co-star Alfonso Ribeiro took to Twitter to share his condolences.
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
A Navy veteran who served during the Vietnam War, Avery starred in various voice-over and live-action roles, most recently in series including Grey’s Anatomy and Harry’s Law.