Actor James Avery, best known for playing Uncle Phil on hit 90s TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel Air has died.

The actor passed away on New Year's Eve from complications stemming from heart surgery he had on November 11. He was 68.

"Fresh Prince" co-star Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Avery's TV son Carlton Banks on the show, tweeted the news early on New Year's Day, posting a photo and writing, "I'm deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly."

Avery, whose first screen role was as an uncredited extra in "The Blues Brothers" back in 1980, has also voiced numerous animated television characters, including bad guy Shredder in the original "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" cartoon series that ran from 1987-93.

He also made appearances on "That '70s Show," "CSI" and Showtime's "Soul Food."

Avery is survived by wife Barbara, whom he married 26 years ago, mother Florence, and a stepson.