James La Rue Avery, Sr was an American actor, best known for his portrayal of the patriarch and attorney (later judge) Philip Banks, Will Smith’s character’s uncle, in the TV sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
According to sources close to “Uncle Phil”, he died in a Glendale, CA hospital on New Year’s eve.
In 2004, he guest starred on the television series That’s So Raven where he played an entrepreneur. He also appeared in a 2005 episode of My Wife and Kids as Jay’s reluctant professor. He was cast in the new sitcom Sherri, starring Sherri Shepherd, playing her father. Recently in 2012, he took a role on the TV series Grey’s Anatomy, playing a distraught spouse to his brain-dead partner who was a patient.
RIP ‘Uncle Phil’