Well, this is a crummy way to start a new year: actor James Avery, best known for playing the easily agitated, yet lovingly loyal Uncle Phil on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and the voice of Shredder in the animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, passed away today, according to his TV son Alfonso Ribeiro on Twitter.
We’ll update with more information as it becomes available. Until then:
R.I.P. Uncle Phil. UPDATE: according to TMZ:
Sources close to the actor tell TMZ he died in an L.A. hospital last night. Avery had recently undergone surgery for an undisclosed illness and took a turn for the worse late yesterday.
And we’re told his wife, Barbara, had been at his bedside but left for a short period of time to get something to eat. When she came back, she learned he had just died. (Via)