- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 1, 2014

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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