James Avery of TV’s The Fresh Prince of Bel Air died on New Year’s Eve, CNN has confirmed. The veteran actor was 65.
Avery’s TV son, Alfonso Ribeiro (aka the Fresh Prince’s cousin Carlton), announced the sad news on Twitter this morning:
As subsequently reported by TMZ, Avery had recently checked into a Los Angeles hospital for surgery to treat an undisclosed illness, but his condition took a turn for the worse.
In addition to his turn as Fresh Prince‘s Judge Philip Banks and voicing Shredder on the late-’80s/early -’90s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, Avery’s more recent TV credits include episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, Harry’s Law and Sherri Shepherd’s short-lived eponymous sitcom, and a recurring run as The Closer‘s Deputy ME Dr. Crippen.