by Free Britney at . Comments

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air fans and cast members are mourning the loss of James Avery, the actor who played Uncle Phil on the beloved sitcom.

James Avery died Tuesday night from complications following open-heart surgery, which he underwent in November, at a hospital in Glendale, Calif.

Avery has hundreds of credits to his name, including Fletch, Rambo, Dallas, Night Court, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and more recently, Grey’s Anatomy.

Of course, he will be best remembered as Will Smith’s uncle Phil on The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air for six seasons and 148 episodes in the 1990s.

His co-stars took to social media to express their sadness.

Alfonso Ribeiro, Avery’s son on show, wrote: “I’m deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly.”

Tatyana Ali, who played the late actor’s daughter, added:

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by Free Britney at . Comments

James Avery, who played the beloved Uncle Phil to Will Smith's character on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in the 1990s, died Tuesday at the age of 65.

His co-star Alfonso Ribeiro tweeted news of Avery's passing.

"I'm deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away," Riberio tweeted of the news. "He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly."

Avery's publicist confirmed the actor's death.

James Avery Photo

Avery recently had open heart surgery, and died from complications from the procedure. Wife Barbara was by his side before leaving for a moment to get food.

Upon her return, he had passed away.

A classically trained actor and poet, Avery grew up in Atlantic City, N.J., where he was raised by a single mother, according to CNN and IMDB.

He served in the Navy during the Vietnam War and first appeared on screen as a dancer in an uncredited role in the 1980 classic The Blues Brothers.

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