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      James Avery

      James Avery

      Highest Rated: 40% Extremities (1986)

      Lowest Rated: 6% Who's Your Caddy? (2007)

      Birthday: Nov 27, 1945

      Birthplace: Pughsville, Virginia, USA

      Burly African-American character player of TV with a richly resonant voice. Avery has been a familiar face since the mid-1980s as a frequent TV guest star usually playing a cop, judge or clergyman. He had recurring roles on shows as diverse as "L.A. Law," "Beauty and the Beast," and "Amen." Avery is best known as Phillip Banks, the uncle of Will Smith on the hit sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (NBC, 1990-96). His character was a proud self-made success story who skillfully walks the delicate line between being a positive role model as a strong Black father figure and the butt of humor as a pompous windbag. After the show's demise, Avery once again portrayed a patriarch, this time as the father in a family of lawyers who served an inner-city community on the UPN sitcom "Sparks" (1996-98). Avery honed his acting skills as part of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland before segueing to commercials and TV. He worked on several cartoons ("Going Bananas"; "Hulk Hogan's Rock'N'Wrestling"; "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles") before landing a stint as a primetime series regular on the sitcom "FM." Even here his voice was an integral part of his role as he played a radio personality who hosted two shows--one as a polished classical host and the other as a funky reggae deejay. Avery has also had small roles in several features beginning with "The Stunt Man" (1980) and continuing with films including "Three for the Road" (1987) and "License to Drive" (1988). He worked steadily as a character actor in both film and television after the end of "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air," including a recurring role as a doctor in the police procedural "The Closer" (TNT 2005-2012). James L. Avery died of complications from open-heart surgery on December 31, 2013, shortly after completing work on Zach Braff's feature "Wish I Was Here" (2014).

      Highest rated movies

      Extremities
      Who's Your Caddy?

      Photos

      WISH I WAS HERE, Ato Essandoh (left, blue tie), Leslie David Baker (center, blue tie), Zach Braff (right of center), James Avery (second from right), 2014. ph: Merie Weismiller Wallace/©Focus Features

      Filmography

      Movies

      Credit
      No Score Yet 64% Turtle Power: The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Unknown (Character) - 2014
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Hunt for the Labyrinth Killer Judge Parsons (Character) - 2013
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Not Your Time Haig (Character) - 2010
      No Score Yet 37% Let the Game Begin Mark Hanley (Character) - 2010
      No Score Yet No Score Yet His Good Will Mr. Cooper (Character) - 2008
      No Score Yet 43% Divine Intervention Rev. Matthews (Character) - 2007
      6% 59% Who's Your Caddy? Caddy Mack (Character) $5.7M 2007
      No Score Yet 56% Restraining Order Judge Sanderson (Character) - 2006
      No Score Yet 57% Think Tank Unknown (Character) - 2006
      No Score Yet 5% The Third Wish George (Character) - 2005
      No Score Yet 17% Lethal Eviction Gus Winter (Character) - 2005
      No Score Yet 14% Wheelmen Vice President (Character) - 2002
      No Score Yet 61% Nancy Drew Prof. Shifflin (Character) - 2002
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Honeybee Larry Dukes (Character) - 2001
      No Score Yet 16% Epoch Dr. Solomon Holt (Character) - 2000
      No Score Yet 73% Dancing in September Mr. Warner (Character) - 2000
      No Score Yet 61% You Lucky Dog Calvin Bridges (Character) - 1998
      No Score Yet 21% The Advanced Guard Fred (Character) - 1998
      No Score Yet No Score Yet La Colonia Unknown (Character) - 1998
      No Score Yet 47% Spirit Lost Dr. Glidden (Character) - 1997
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Magic and Mystery Haroud Hazi Bin (Voice) - 1996
      No Score Yet 52% A Friend to Die For Agent Gilwood (Character) - 1994
      No Score Yet No Score Yet American Experience Charles Hamilton Houston (Character) - 1993
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Without Warning: Terror in the Towers Fred Ferby (Character) - 1993
      No Score Yet 46% Little Miss Millions Agent Noah Hollander (Character) - 1993
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Simple Justice Charles Hamilton Houston (Character) - 1993
      No Score Yet No Score Yet To My Daughter Unknown (Character) - 1990
      No Score Yet 80% Full Exposure: The Sex Tapes Scandal Earl (Character) - 1989
      No Score Yet 0% Deadly Daphne's Revenge Detective Wood (Character) - 1987
      No Score Yet 42% Three for the Road Clarence (Character) $724.5K 1987
      40% 63% Extremities Security Guard (Character) $12.2M 1986
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Stoogemania Gulch (Character) - 1985

      TV

      Credit
      84% 73% Grey's Anatomy Unknown (Guest Star) 2012
      60% 100% Eli Stone Mason Andrews (Guest Star) 2008
      83% 85% The Closer Dr. Crippen (Guest Star) 2005-2007
      56% 80% Star Trek: Enterprise Gen. K'Vagh (Guest Star) 2005
      No Score Yet No Score Yet All of Us Unknown (Guest Star) 2003-2004
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Girlfriends Unknown (Guest Star) 2004
      83% No Score Yet NYPD Blue Steve Pines (Guest Star) 2004
      No Score Yet 82% That '70s Show Unknown (Guest Star) 2004
      64% No Score Yet All About the Andersons Unknown (Guest Star) 2003
      96% 62% Joan of Arcadia Unknown (Guest Star) 2003
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Soul Food Unknown (Guest Star) 2001-2003
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Reba Judge Samuel Bennett (Guest Star) 2003
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Judging Amy Unknown (Guest Star) 2002
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Dharma & Greg Unknown (Guest Star) 2000 2002
      64% No Score Yet Philly Unknown (Guest Star) 2002
      No Score Yet 40% The Proud Family Crandall Smythe (Guest Voice) 2001
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Jamie Foxx Show Unknown (Guest Star) 2001
      33% No Score Yet Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place Unknown (Guest Star) 2000
      No Score Yet 82% CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Unknown (Guest Star) 2000
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Bull Unknown (Guest Star) 2000
      No Score Yet No Score Yet One World Unknown (Guest Star) 2000
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Family Law Unknown (Guest Star) 1999
      No Score Yet No Score Yet For Your Love Unknown (Guest Star) 1999
      19% No Score Yet Vengeance Unlimited Unknown (Guest Star) 1999
      No Score Yet No Score Yet In the House Unknown (Guest Star) 1998
      9% No Score Yet Sparks Alonzo Sparks (Character) 1996-1998
      No Score Yet 91% The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Philip Banks (Character) 1990-1996
      91% No Score Yet Murder One Unknown (Guest Star) 1995
      No Score Yet 83% Aladdin Unknown (Guest Voice) 1994
      No Score Yet 94% Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shredder/Empire State Building Security Guard (Guest Star),
      Shredder/Construction Workers (Guest Voice),
      Shredder/Thug #2 (Voice)
      1987-1993
      No Score Yet No Score Yet FM Quentin Lamoreaux (Character) 1989-1990
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Hogan Family Unknown (Guest Star) 1987 1989
      No Score Yet No Score Yet 227 Unknown (Guest Star) 1988
      No Score Yet 86% Beauty and the Beast Winslow (Guest Star) 1988
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Jake and the Fatman Unknown (Guest Star) 1987
      No Score Yet 82% Amazing Stories Unknown (Character) 1986
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Dukes of Hazzard Charlie (Guest Star) 1984
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Jeffersons Coleman (Guest Star) 1983
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Simon & Simon Huey (Guest Star) 1983
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Newhart Unknown (Guest Star) 1983