Basic Information About James Avery
|Category||Celebrities › Actors|
|Professions||Actor, Voice Actor, Soldier|
|Date of birth||1945-11-27|
|Place of birth||Suffolk|
|Date of death||2013-12-31 (aged 68)|
|Nationality||United States of America|
|Curiosities and Trademarks||Often played characters in legal or high-level professional fields|
Deep, booming voice
Towering height and broad frame
Best known for his roles as Uncle Phil on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990) and Shredder on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987)
|Spouse||31 December - Barbara Waters (1988 - 2013) (his death)|
|Height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Social Media||↗︎ Wikipedia ↗︎ IMDb|
What Movie Awards did James Avery win?
James Avery roles
|Movie / Series||Role|
|The Prince of Egypt||Additional Voices (voice)|
|The Blues Brothers||Man Dancing Outside Ray's Shop (uncredited)|
|The Brady Bunch Movie||Mr. Steve Yeager|
|Raise Your Voice||Mr. Gantry|
|License to Drive||Les' DMV Examiner|
|The Stunt Man||Customer at Diner (uncredited)|
|Wish I Was Here||Audition Actor #2|
|Reba||Judge Samuel Bennett 1 episode, 2003|
|Grey's Anatomy||Sam 1 episode, 2012|
|Girlfriends||Dr. Couch 1 episode, 2004|
|Dharma & Greg||Walter 2 episodes, 2000-2002|
|Enterprise||Gen. K'Vagh 2 episodes, 2005|
|Family Matters||James Avery (uncredited) unknown episodes|
|Night Court||Judge Hopkins 1 episode, 1990|
|Harry's Law||Fred Billings 1 episode, 2012|
|The Division||Charles Haysbert 9 episodes, 2002-2003|
|Reading Rainbow||Self 1 episode, 1992|
|Dallas||Judge J. Fowler 1 episode, 1988|
|The Jeffersons||Coleman 1 episode, 1983|
|A Different World||The Pin Punisher 1 episode, 1989|
|St. Elsewhere||Man in E.R. / ... 1 episode, 1985-1986|
|Gargoyles||The Shaman 1 episode, 1996|
|Spider-Man||Jim Rhodes / ... 2 episodes, 1996|
|Beauty and the Beast||Winslow 4 episodes, 1988|
|The Young and the Restless||Judge Roy Daley 1 episode, 2012|
|CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Preston Cash 1 episode, 2000|
|Extreme Ghostbusters||Danny 1 episode, 1997|
|That '70s Show||Officer Kennedy 3 episodes, 2004|
|Aladdin||Haroud Hazi Bin 11 episodes, 1994|
|Amen||Rev. Tom Crawford / ... 5 episodes, 1986-1989|
|For Your Love||Rev. Hicks 1 episode, 1999|
|The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air||Philip Banks / ... 148 episodes, 1990-1996|
|The Dukes of Hazzard||Charlie 1 episode, 1984|
|The Proud Family||Crandall Smythe 1 episode, 2001|
|The Real Ghost Busters||Giant / ... 2 episodes, 1986-1989|
|Eli Stone||Mason Andrews 1 episode, 2008|
|Hardcastle and McCormick||Jackson 1 episode, 1984|
|That's So Raven||Presto 1 episode, 2004|
|Simon & Simon||Huey / ... 2 episodes, 1983-1984|
|The Wonderful World of Disney||Prof. Duke Shifflin 1 episode, 2002|
|Cagney & Lacey||Mr. Berwin 1 episode, 1985|
|Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place||Judge 1 episode, 2000|
|American Experience||Charles Hamilton Houston / ... 2 episodes, 1993-1994|
|Moonlighting||Reuben King 1 episode, 1985|
|Crossing Jordan||Dr. Erkhart 1 episode, 2003|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||Shredder / ... 106 episodes, 1987-1993|
|Webster||Judge Barshall 1 episode, 1984|
|Amazing Stories||Chief Hansen 1 episode, 1986|
James Avery's Quotes
- You are only an actor if you absolutely love it and can not do anything else. Starving for your art is great in your 20s, but it's not so great at 35. It has to be absolute love. You can't worry about being a movie star or anything else. Just love. That's it.
- Monetary success is not success. Career success is not success. Life, someone that loves you, giving to others, doing something that makes you feel complete and full. That is success. And it isn't dependent on anyone else.
- I wanted to leave home, and I didn't know where I was going or what I was going to do or what would happen. That's youth, though. Being fixated on things. I was fixated on being a writer.
- Writing is such a singular and lonely occupation. And it's interesting; all of the work that you create is so singular.
- I don't understand this whole Twitter, Facebook stuff. I don't get it. Make a phone call. Talk to somebody.
James Avery: The Man Behind Beloved Characters
On December 31, 2013, James Avery, a beloved American actor, passed away at the age of 68 due to complications from open-heart surgery. Even if he is no longer with us, his fans continue to remember him and everything he has accomplished throughout his successful career as an actor and writer.
Early Life and Education
Avery was born on November 27, 1945, in Pughsville, Virginia. His mother’s name was Florence J. Avery, but his father is unknown since he was removed from the birth certificate. Florence Avery moved to Atlantic City with baby James, where he spent most of his childhood.
He joined the US Navy right after high school and served in active duty during the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1969. After finishing service in the military, Avery began writing for PBS and earned an Emmy Award for one of his productions. He received a scholarship shortly afterward and attended UC San Diego at Thurgood Marshall College where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in drama and literature in 1976.
James Avery began his career as a writer on PBS, then transitioned to acting and found success in various TV series and films. He initially landed small roles in films like ‘The Stunt Man’ and ‘The Blues Brothers’ in 198. He worked incredibly hard in the field of acting afterward, finally making a breakthrough with his roles in ‘Hill Street Blues,’ ‘L.A. Law,’ and various other shows.
What brought him career-defining success, however, was when he was cast as Philip Banks-Will Smith’s uncle in ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.’ His character became a favorite in the series, largely due to his exceptional comedic timing and chemistry with the other cast members.
Avery voiced an iconic villain character, The Shredder – in the original ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ cartoon series. He’s also lent his distinctive voice to various animated TV shows and video games, including Call of Duty, Iron Man & Captain America: Heroes United, and Batman: The Brave and the Bold through the years.
Personal Life and Death
James Avery married Barbara Avery in 1988 and was with her until his death in December 2013. Avery and Barbara shared one son together, and James was a father-figure to Barbara’s daughter’s from her previous marriage.
Avery underwent open-heart surgery two years before his death, which resulted in various health issues. He passed away on December 31, 2013, at a hospital in Glendale, California, from complications associated with that earlier surgery.
Avery owned multiple properties throughout his career, including a Los Feliz house he and his wife bought in 1999 for $539,000 and sold for $1.5 million just last year. Avery resided in his large Granada Hills, California, home at the time of his passing.
Net Worth Details
James Avery’s may have left this earth, but he leaves behind a formidable legacy. When he died, Avery had an estimated net worth of $3 million dollars accumulated from his work as an actor in various TV shows and films for over three decades along with highlights such as ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ and the original ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ cartoon series. Despite only several months that 2021 has passed by, celebritynetworth.com estimated it at $6 million in April 2021.
Achievements and Awards
As previously stated, Avery’s work in the industry brought him significant satights such as receiving an Emmy Award. Still, he also garnered two NAACP nominations in 1993 and 1994 for his role as Philip Banks in ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.’ Additionally, a well-known credit of James Avery was his phenomenal contribution to the immensely popular animated series ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,’ voicing the series’ iconic villain, The Shredder, which was the beginning of his voice acting career.
A Closer Look Into James Avery’s Work
Even with his unmistakable looks and distinctive voice, James Avery worked incredibly hard to strive for perfection within both of his crafts-writing and acting-without sacrificing his performance quality in the industry, making him an inspiration to the generations since then.
His fascinating growth from a person of color struggling to find stable work to Grammy-winning writer and actor is an inspiring example of one undeterred by struggles.
One of Avery’s remarkable works was his minimalist appearance in NBC’s television show, ‘Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.’ Despite his minimalistic and understated character in three 60-second public service announcements promoting health care exams through Dr. Quinn medicine, Avery was described as a refined and effective presence on Friday Night Videos’ “We’re Gonna Heal the World Tonight” music video in 1985.
A Legacy Lives On Through His Fans
Since his sudden passing, legions of James Avery fans have continued to show him love, sometimes paying tribute in ways only creativity can enable. Fan art continues to pour forth for his numerous brilliant performances across their screens. Young children who grew up with his many TV series like ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ and ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ have passed their love forward through not just memory but also a streaming service as mentioned. To James’s memory- lifelong friendships depicted through a fun yet enduring show, one that remains timeless.
It hurts to look back on such a legend’s life and realize how much it changed; since his death, many of us thought we would always have him on the screen. However, even if James Avery is no longer with us today, his legacy remains intact among his loved ones and fans who continue to watch his work through multiple streaming services.
Interesting Facts about James Avery
- Served in the Vietnam War.
- Was in the Navy, which involved him in Vietnam.
- Philip Banks, Avery's character on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990), was ranked #34 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" [20 June 2004 issue].
- Popular voice over actor, he has done voice work for numerous cartoons and advertisements, probably his most famous voice over was that of Shredder for seven years on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987).
- Was considered for the role of Charlie Altamont in The Devil's Rejects (2005).
- Currently starring in a commercial promoting Kaplan University. [January 2009]
- He died from complications of open heart surgery at Glendale Memorial Medical Center, on the evening of December 31, 2013. He had undergone surgery on November 11, 2013. His ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean off Los Angeles, CA and in the Atlantic Ocean off Atlantic City, NJ.
- He was survived by his mother, Florence J. Avery.
- Mentioned in J. Coles hit song "No Role Modelz" where Cole mentions Uncle Phil as his father figure growing and the only father he knew.