UCSD to hold memorial for ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ actor James Avery, March 1


UC San Diego will hold a memorial service for the late actor James Avery at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 1 in the Mandell Weiss Forum of La Jolla Playhouse. The service is open to the public.

Avery, who graduated from UCSD in 1976, is best known for his portrayal of Uncle Phil Banks on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” which starred Will Smith, and landed Avery a spot on TV Guide’s list of the 50 Greatest TV Dads of all time.

Avery also lent his voice to more than a dozen animated television series and features, and was primary host of the PBS travel series, “Going Places.”

He died on New Year’s Eve of complications from heart surgery. He was 68.

The ceremony will include an afternoon of theater, live music, personal reflections and poetry readings in Avery’s honor.

Avery obtained a bachelor’s degree in drama and literature from UCSD, following service in the Navy and writing for PBS. He and his wife, Barbara — a 1974 alumna — established the James Avery Scholarship to support black students studying performing arts at the school. u

City News Service