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James Avery is the noted actor who played the stern but loveable Uncle Phil in the Fresh Prince of Belair has died.

According to Avery’s Publicist, Cynthia Snyder, Avery died Tuesday in Glendale Calif. following complications from open heart surgery. He was 69.

Fresh Prince of Belair aired on NBC from 1990 – 1996, fans related to Avery as Uncle Phil. Costar Alfonso Ribeiro tweeted, “I’m deeply sadden to say James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I’ll miss him greatly.”

Avery had a successful career as an actor. His TV credits included Grey’s Anatomy, NYPD Blue and Dallas. Some of his film credits were Fletch, Night Flyers and 8 Million Ways To Die. Avery is notably known as the voice of Shredder in the animated TV series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Avery leaves to mourn his wife, Barbara and stepson Kevin Waters.