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'Fresh Prince' star remembered for role as Philip Banks

The actor who played Will Smith's uncle in 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,' James Avery, has died, his publicist reports. 

By StaffAssociated Press / January 1, 2014

This photo 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 died Tuesday.

AP Photo/NBC, Ron Tom



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.

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Avery's publicist, Cynthia Snyder, told The Associated Press that Avery died Tuesday in Glendale, California.

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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