65 (passed away Dec. 31st, 2013)
Nov. 27th, 1948
Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
James Avery's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Although best known as the uncle/patriarch and judge "Philip Banks" on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990), James Avery is a classically trained actor and scholar. A native of Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA, he joined the US Navy after graduating high school and served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. Upon leaving the military, he moved to San Diego, California and began writing TV scripts and poetry for PBS.
He won an Emmy for production during his tenure there and deservedly won a scholarship to the University of California at San Diego from which he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Drama and Literature. (Sidenote: His wife, Barbara is the Dean of Student Life at California's Loyola Marymount University.) In addition to his sitcom popularity, he has lent his voice to over a dozen animated television series and features. He also has been the primary host of the popular PBS travel and adventure series Going Places (1997). Armed with a diverse resume of credits, Avery remains a unique creative force as convincing a comedian as he is a Shakespearean character.
- Was considered for the role of Charlie Altamont in _The Devil's Rejects (2005)_ (qv).
- 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/I)_ (qv).
- Was in the Navy, which involved him in Vietnam.
- Hobbies are: Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, Sailing, and Swimming.
- Served in the Vietnam War.
- Philip Banks, Avery's character on _"The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (1990)_ (qv), was ranked #34 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" [20 June 2004 issue].