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James Avery, Uncle Phil From ‘Fresh Prince,’ Dead at 68

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(Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

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LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC/AP) — James Avery, the actor who played Uncle Phil on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, has died.

Avery’s publicist, Cynthia Snyder, told The Associated Press that he passed away Tuesday in Glendale, Calif., following complications from open heart surgery. He was 68.

According to the Internet Movie Database, Avery served in the Vietnam War as a member of the U.S. Navy before moving to California to begin his acting career.

Avery starred most recently in a series of made-for-TV films. In addition to taking on several TV and film roles through the years, Avery was also a voice actor. Perhaps his most famous role in that capacity was as Shredder on theTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, which ran from 1987 to 1996.

(TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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