'Fresh Prince' star James Avery dies at 68

LOS ANGELES - JULY 7: Actor James Avery attends the world premiere of "I, Robot" at the Mann Village Theatre July 7, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)

Actor James Avery, best known for his role as the strict and lovable character Uncle Phil in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, passed away Tuesday. He was 68.

Avery was born and raised in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He served in the Navy during Vietnam before relocating to San Diego to pursue a career in poetry and screen writing.

He hit the big time when he landed a starring role as Phillip Banks, uncle to Will Smith’s character on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-air.”

This is the second ‘Fresh Prince’ alum death in one month. Producer Jeff Pollack passed away while jogging in Hermosa Beach on December 26th, 2013.