James Avery, who rose to stardom as loveable patriarch Philip Banks on the 1990s television series “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” has died. He was 68.
Avery passed away Tuesday evening, his publicist Toni Benson confirmed to CNN Entertainment.
Best known for his role on “Fresh Prince,” Avery was also a classically trained actor who earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in drama from the University of California at San Diego, according to his IMDB page.
Avery grew up in Atlantic City, N.J.
He moved to California, after serving in the U.S. Navy during the war in Vietnam, his IMDB page said.
Once he graduated from college, Avery began writing television scripts and poetry for PBS.
He is survived by his wife Barbara Avery.
The star had more than 170 acting credits, recently appearing in episodes of the TV series “Harry’s Law” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”
As news of his death emerged, actor Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Avery’s son Carlton Banks on “Fresh Prince” expressed his condolences on Twitter.
“I’m deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly,” Ribeiro tweeted.
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
Correction: A previous version of this story erroneously reported Avery was 65. He was 68, according to CNN. The story has been updated to reflect the change.