James Avery passes away
James L. Avery, Sr. (November 27, 1948 – January 1, 2014) was an American actor, best known for his portrayal of the patriarch and attorney (later judge) Philip Banks, Will Smith’s character’s uncle, in the TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. This character was ranked #34 in TV Guide’s “50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time.” He also provided the voice of Shredder in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles television series, as well as War Machine in the animated series Iron Man and Junkyard Dog in Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling. He also played Michael Kelso’s commanding officer at the police academy late in the series run of the popular sitcom That ’70s Show.
On January 1, 2014, Avery died from complications following surgery for an undisclosed illness in a Los Angeles hospital.