Actor James Avery dies at 68

COLUMBIA (WACH/AP) â?? James Avery, the actor best known for his role as â??Uncle Philâ?? alongside Will Smith in the sitcom, â??The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,â?? has died.

James Averyâ??s publicist, Cynthia Snyder told the Associated Press that Avery died Tuesday in Glendale, California following complications from open heart surgery. He was 68.

I'm deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly.â?? Tweeted Alfonso Riberio, the actor who played â??Carltonâ?? on the â??Fresh Prince of Bel-Airâ??.

Featured above is an iconic scene from â??Fresh Princeâ?? between Uncle Phil and Will Smith, ending with an embrace between the two.

Avery played Will Smith's uncle on the popular TV series. His movie credits included "Fletch," "The Prince of Egypt" and "8 Million Ways to Die."

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)