The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Star James Avery Dies at 68

The actor who played Philip Banks passed away in Los Angeles.

Posted: 01/01/2014 01:38 PM EST

One of America's most beloved television dads is no longer with us. James Avery, who was best know for his role as Philip Banks on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, died yesterday in a Los Angeles hospital, TMZ reports. He was 68.  

There are little details but according to the site, "Sources close to the actor tell TMZ he died in an L.A. hospital last night. Avery had recently undergone surgery for an undisclosed illness and took a turn for the worse late yesterday."  

Avery played uncle to Will Smith on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air for six seasons.  Alfonso Ribeiro, who played his son Carlton Banks, said on Twitter, "I'm deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly."  

Throughout the years, the actor made appearances on shows like That's So RavenGirlfriends and Grey's Anatomy.  

Condolences to Avery's friends and family.  

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(Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)

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