James L Avery Biography, Age, Profile, Relationship, Career, Death & Net worth

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James L Avery Biography

Quick Facts

  • FULL NAME: James L Avery
  • NICK NAME: James
  • PROFESSION: Actor, Voice actor and Poet
  • DATE OF BIRTH: November 27, 1945
  • AGE: 65YEARS
  • GENDER: Male
  • PLACE OF BIRTH: Suffolk, Virginia, United States
  • DATE OF DEATH: December 31, 2013
  • PLACE OF DEATH: Glendale, California, United States
  • CAUSE OF DEATH: Complications From Open Heart Surgery
  • NATIONALITY: American
  • EDUCATION: Thurgood Marshall College and University of California, San Diego
  • PARENTS: James and Florence J. Avery
  • WIFE: Barbara Avery
  • HEIGHT: 6 Feet 5 Inches (1.96 m)
  • WEIGHT: 91 kg (201 lbs)
  • BODY SIZE: 30B
  • Wаіѕt: 24 Inches
  • BODY TYPE: Large
  • Hаіr Cоlоr: Salt and Pepper
  • Eуе Cоlоr: Brown
  • Net Worth: $3 million

James LaRue Avery was an actor and poet from the United States. Most notably, he was noted for his appearances as Philip Banks in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Judge Michael Conover on L.A. Law, Steve Yeager in The Brady Bunch Movie, Haroud Hazi Bin in Aladdin, and Dr. Cripplen on the television series The Closer (2005–2007).

James L Avery Biography

James L Avery Biography

The Life and Times of James L Avery

He was born on November 27, 1945, in Pughsville, Virginia (current-day Suffolk, Virginia), to James and Florence J. Avery, who was his mother at the time. Despite his father’s denial of paternity, his name did not appear on his birth certificate. James later be relocated to Atlantic City, New Jersey.

He served in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1969, after which he relocated to San Diego, California, where he began to create poems and television screenplays for the Public Broadcasting System.

During his time there, he was awarded an Emmy for production, and he went on to obtain a scholarship at the University of California, San Diego, where he attended Thurgood Marshall College (formerly Third College), earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in drama and literature in 1976.


James was born on November 27, 1945, in Suffolk, Virginia, United States


Following his graduation from Thurgood Marshall College, he went on to get his BA in Drama and Literature at the University of California, San Diego.


James Avery was an actor, voice actor, and poet who began his professional career in the 1980s, making appearances on television shows and in films. Beginning in television shows such as NBC’s Hill Street Blues, Showtime Sitcom Brothers, Amen, FM Radio, L.A. Law, and a slew of others that are well worth your time to watch.

Avery first gained widespread attention for his portrayal of Philip Banks on the television series ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,’ a role that earned him a spot on TV Guide’s list of the “50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time.”

James Avery was a multi-talented actor who was able to excel in every character that he was given to play. His powerful voice made him famous among many characters, thus in addition to acting, he contributed his voice to a variety of characters. One of his significant projects as a voiceover artist is the ‘Iron Man’ series, which is one of his most well-known credits. In addition, he has provided his voice for video games such as Splash Mountain and others.

The actor, on the other hand, received a great deal of attention throughout his professional life. And yet, he continues to be remembered in millions of hearts for his critically acclaimed performances and significant contribution to the entertainment industry.

The voices of Shredder and War Machine in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series, as well as James Rhodes/War Machine in the Iron Man television series, are among his most well-known work. He also appeared as Junkyard Dog in Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling (1985–1986), Turbo in Rambo and the Forces of Freedom (1986), and Haroud Hazi Bin in Aladdin, all of which featured his deep bass voice (1994).

In 2007, and again in 2012, Avery delivered the commencement address at his alma mater, the Thurgood Marshall College of the University of California, San Diego. In 1995, he made an appearance in the film The Brady Bunch Movie.




Avery tied the knot with his long-term love Barbara Avery in 1988. Barbara served as dean of student life at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. Despite the fact that he had no biological children, he was a stepfather to Barbara’s Son Kevin Waters.

James Avery Facts and Figures

A list of noteworthy facts about James Avery has been produced to demonstrate our appreciation and admiration for who he is and what he has accomplished in the world of television.

  •  Became a member of the Navy

Avery was born in Virginia as “James La Rue Avery” and raised in the Atlantic City neighborhood of the same name. Following high school, he enlisted in the United States Navy, where he served in the Vietnam War from 1968 until 1969. He has also served his country in addition to his professional activities in the entertainment sector.

  •  A Writer

After returning home from the Vietnam War, Avery decided to settle in San Diego. It was there that he wrote poetry and television screenplays for public television, notably the Emmy Award-winning program “Ameda Speaks: Poet James Avery.”

  • Recipient of a scholarship

“Thurgood Marshall College” at the University of California, San Diego, was his destination after receiving a scholarship. Thurgood Marshall College is one of six colleges that make up the University of California, San Diego system. Students can take advantage of many of the advantages of a small liberal arts institution while also taking advantage of the chances offered by a large research university.

  • The James Avery Memorial Scholarship Program.

His family and friends have established the “James Avery Memorial Scholarship” in his memory, in order to recognize his accomplishments and to help future undergraduate students pursue their aspirations. The family aims to provide scholarships to students seeking degrees in the performing arts at universities across the country.

  •  Playing a Significant Role

He rose to fame as Philip Banks (Uncle Phil) on the television series “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” a role that was placed #34 on TV Guide’s list of the “50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time.”

  • Voice Actor

Besides acting, Avery was a voice actor, lending his talents to “The Real Ghostbusters” and Hulk Hogan’s “Rock ‘n’ Wrestling” series. When his big break came, he landed the role of “Shredder,” the main turtle nemesis in the ten-season animated “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” television series.

  • Born to a single mother and raised by her

He was raised by his mother, who was a single parent. Consequently, he became extremely close to her and developed a close friendship with her mother. We can confidently state that her mother has raised a hugely successful and multi-talented artist in the profession, and for that, we are thankful.

  • A Credits List That Is Diverse

James Avery was a one-of-a-kind creative force who was equally convincing as a comic as he was as a Shakespearean figure, despite a long and varied list of credits to his name. Along with that, he was a regular co-host of the popular public television travel and adventure series Going Places.


Avery passed away on December 31, 2013, at the age of 68, at Glendale Memorial Medical Center in Glendale, California. According to his publicist, Cynthia Snyder, Avery died as a result of complications from open heart surgery, according to the Associated Press.

“RIP James, all the world is a stage, and we are all merely players in this production called LIFE,” Janet Hubert, who played his on-screen wife Vivian on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air for the first three seasons, said following his death: “RIP James, all the world is a stage, and we are all merely players in this production called LIFE.”

Will Smith shared his thoughts on Avery’s passing, saying:

“James Avery taught me some of the most valuable lessons I’ve ever learned about acting, life, and being a decent human being. Uncle Phil is a figure that every young man should have. Rest in peace, my friend.”

Avery was said to as a “gentle giant” by Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey).

Avery’s ashes were burned and dispersed along the Pacific Ocean in the wake of her death. A video conference honoring Avery’s best moments on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was held in April 2020, and Will Smith joined the cast to celebrate Avery’s contributions to the show.

James L Avery

James L Avery Net worth

He was an American actor who had a net worth of $3 million when he passed away.


He was most well-known for his role as Judge Philip Banks on the NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination.

There were 148 episodes broadcast over six seasons from September 1990 to May 1996, all of which featured a young Will Smith in his early stages of stardom.

As a result of his work on Fresh Prince, James Avery has acted in a slew of films and television shows over the course of his nearly three-decade-long acting and directing career. In the years following his birth in Virginia, Avery and his family relocated to Atlantic City, where he was raised.

He joined the Navy and was stationed in Vietnam between 1968 and 1969, just a few months after graduating high school.

Following his discharge from the Navy, Avery relocated to San Diego to pursue a writing career in poetry and television scripts.

The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series featured him as Shredder, and he provided the voice for the character. At a hospital in Glendale, California, on December 31, 2013, James Avery died of complications connected to open heart surgery.

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