Actor James Avery has died at the age of 68 from open heart surgery complications, sources confirm.
James had been in poor health and recently underwent open heart surgery, TMZ reports. He passed away in a Los Angeles hospital on Dec. 31, 2013. Wife Barbara Avery was by his side during his final moments.
James’ career spanned more than 30 years, beginning with an uncredited role in The Blues Brothers and ending with three TV movies in 2013. He was best-known for his role as Uncle Phil on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Alfonso Ribeiro, who played James’ TV son on Fresh Prince, tweeted about James’ passing earlier today…
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
In terms of his personal life, James served with the Navy in the Vietnam war. He has been married to Barbara Avery since the late 1980s.
UPDATE We originally reported James died at the age of 65. He was 68.