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James Avery of 'Fresh Prince' fame dead at 65

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 1, 2014 at 2:41 p.m.

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This photo provided by NBC shows, from left, James Avery as Philip Banks, Will Smith as William "Will" Smith, and Janet Hubert as Vivian Banks, in episode 7, "Def Poet's Society" from the TV series, "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." Avery, 65, the bulky character actor who laid down the law as the Honorable Philip Banks has died. Avery's publicist, Cynthia Snyder, told The Associated Press that Avery died Tuesday.

NEW YORK — James Avery, the bulky character actor who laid down the law as the Honorable Philip Banks in "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," has died.

Avery's publicist, Cynthia Snyder, told The Associated Press that Avery died Tuesday in Glendale, Calif., following complications from open heart surgery. He was 65.

Avery played Will Smith's uncle on the popular TV series. His movie credits included "Fletch," ''The Prince of Egypt" and "8 Million Ways to Die."

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