UC San Diego to hold public memorial for actor James Avery

Avery known for Uncle Phil role on 'Fresh Prince'

LA JOLLA, Calif. - UC San Diego announced Tuesday that a public memorial service will be held on campus March 1 for the late actor James Avery.

Avery, who graduated from UCSD in 1976, is best known for his portrayal of charismatic Uncle Phil Banks on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."

He died on New Year's Eve of complications from heart surgery at age 68.

According to school officials, the ceremony will include an afternoon of theater, live music, personal reflections and poetry readings in Avery's honor.

Avery obtained a bachelor's degree in drama and literature, following service in the Navy and writing for PBS. He and his wife, Barbara -- a 1974 alumna -- established the James Avery Scholarship to support black students studying performing arts at the school.

"James Avery was a talented artist, and a strong champion of our campus and our students," Chancellor Pradeep Khosla said. "He established a legacy of support for future student artists with the James Avery Scholarship, an endowed fund that will continue to help generations of students."

Friends and family recently created the James Avery Memorial Scholarship to support undergraduate students in the performing arts.

His role as Uncle Phil landed him a spot on TV Guide's list of the 50 Greatest TV Dads of all time. He also appeared in "Grey's Anatomy," "The Closer" and "That '70s Show." He lent his voice to more than a dozen animated television series and features, and was primary host of the PBS travel and adventure series, "Going Places."

Print this article Back to Top

Comments