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'Fresh Prince' dad James Avery dies at 68

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'Fresh Prince' dad James Avery dies at 68

(TMZ) - James Avery -- the beloved dad and uncle on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" -- has died at age 68 ... TMZ has learned.


Sources close to the actor tell TMZ he died in an Glendale, CA hospital last night. Avery had undergone open heart surgery and took a turn for the worse late yesterday.  

[PHOTOS: Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Cast: Then and Now]

And TMZ reportsd ... his wife, Barbara, had been at his bedside but left for a short period of time and when she came back ... she learned he had just died.

Alfonso Ribeiro -- who played Avery's son on "Fresh Prince" -- posted a message on his Facebook page.

Avery starred in dozens of TV shows through the years -- shows like "Grey's Anatomy," "The Closer," "L.A. Law," and "The Jeffersons."  This past year, he appeared in three TV movies -- most recently, "Go, Bolivia, Go!" -- but didn't appear to have other projects in the works.

Avery reunited with most of his "Fresh Prince" cast -- including Will Smith --  two years ago at a charity event.


READ MORE: TMZ

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