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'Uncle Phil' from 'Fresh Prince' dead at 65

Host Will Smith, second from right, is joined by members of the original cast of the television comedy series "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" during the 5th annual BET Awards on Tuesday, June 28, 2005, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Generation Y has lost their Uncle Phil.

Actor James Avery, 65, best known for playing the tough love Uncle Phil Banks to Will Smith on the '90s sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," died at a Los Angeles hospital on Tuesday night, TMZ reported.

Avery had recently had surgery for an undisclosed illness when his health rapidly started to decline Tuesday.

Tragically, his wife, Barbara, had been by his side but left for a bite to eat. She learned of his death when she returned to his hospital room.

Fellow "Fresh Prince" alum Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Avery's snazzy dressing, spazzy dancing son Carlton, tweeted a photo of the late actor on Wednesday, calling him his "second father."

Avery worked very steadily during his career, appearing in dozens of TV shows, such as "Grey's Anatomy," "The Closer," "L.A. Law" and "The Jeffersons."

He also was the voice of Shredder in the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" animated series from 1987-1993.

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