James Avery Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (5)  | Trivia (9)  | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (4)

Born in Pughsville [now Suffolk], Virginia, USA
Died in Glendale, California, USA  (complications from open heart surgery)
Birth NameJames La Rue Avery
Height 6' 4¾" (1.95 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Although known as the uncle/patriarch and judge "Philip Banks" on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990), James Avery was a classically trained actor and scholar. A native of Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA, he joined the US Navy after graduating high school and served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. Upon leaving the military, he moved to San Diego, California and began writing TV scripts and poetry for PBS. He won an Emmy for production during his tenure there and deservedly won a scholarship to the University of California at San Diego, from which he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Drama and Literature. (Sidenote: His wife Barbara is the Dean of Student Life at California's Loyola Marymount University.) In addition to his sitcom popularity, he lent his voice to over a dozen animated television series and features. He was also the primary host of the popular PBS travel and adventure series Going Places (1997). Armed with a diverse resume of credits, James Avery remained a unique creative force as convincing a comedian as he was a Shakespearean character.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: L. J. Allen-2

Spouse (1)

Barbara Waters (1988 - 31 December 2013) ( his death)

Trade Mark (5)

Often played characters in legal or high-level professional fields
Deep, booming voice
Towering height and broad frame
Best known for his roles as Uncle Phil on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990) and Shredder on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987)

Trivia (9)

Served in the Vietnam War.
Was in the Navy, which involved him in Vietnam.
Philip Banks, Avery's character on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990), was ranked #34 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" [20 June 2004 issue].
Popular voice over actor, he has done voice work for numerous cartoons and advertisements, probably his most famous voice over was that of Shredder for seven years on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987).
Was considered for the role of Charlie Altamont in The Devil's Rejects (2005).
Currently starring in a commercial promoting Kaplan University. [January 2009]
He died from complications of open heart surgery at Glendale Memorial Medical Center, on the evening of December 31, 2013. He had undergone surgery on November 11, 2013. His ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean off Los Angeles, CA and in the Atlantic Ocean off Atlantic City, NJ.
He was survived by his mother, Florence J. Avery.
Mentioned in J. Coles hit song "No Role Modelz" where Cole mentions Uncle Phil as his father figure growing and the only father he knew.

Personal Quotes (5)

You are only an actor if you absolutely love it and can not do anything else. Starving for your art is great in your 20s, but it's not so great at 35. It has to be absolute love. You can't worry about being a movie star or anything else. Just love. That's it.
Monetary success is not success. Career success is not success. Life, someone that loves you, giving to others, doing something that makes you feel complete and full. That is success. And it isn't dependent on anyone else.
I wanted to leave home, and I didn't know where I was going or what I was going to do or what would happen. That's youth, though. Being fixated on things. I was fixated on being a writer.
Writing is such a singular and lonely occupation. And it's interesting; all of the work that you create is so singular.
I don't understand this whole Twitter, Facebook stuff. I don't get it. Make a phone call. Talk to somebody.

See also

Other Works |  Publicity Listings |  Official Sites

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