James Avery's Death: Jada Pinkett Smith, 'Fresh Prince' Co-Stars Pay Tribute

2:03 PM PST 01/02/2014 by Ashley Lee
Courtesy of Toni Benson
James Avery

Reba McEntire, Zach Braff and Tyra Banks share their memories on set with Avery, while Hollywood fans tweet their condolences.

New Year's Day also marked the death of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star James Avery, due to complications from open heart surgery in Glendale.

The actor, who also voiced Shredder in the 1987-93 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series and James Rhodes in the short-lived mid-'90s Iron Man animated series, was 68.

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Will Smith's wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, posted her thoughts to her Facebook page: "Damn. I just heard about James 'Uncle Phil' Avery. One of tv's great 3 dimensional characters. Something hard for African Americans to nab."

Alfonso Ribeiro first published the news on his social media accounts, with Avery's co-stars, colleagues and celebrity fans following suit to offer their condolences:

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