Uncle Phil was ranked #34 on TV Guide’s “50 Greatest Dads of All Time.”
His acting debut was in the 1980’s cult classic Blues Brothers.
He served in the US Navy during the Vietnam War.
He originally auditioned for the role of Geoffrey the Butler.
He voiced Shredder in the television series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
He also provided the voice of War Machine in the Iron Man and Spider-Man animated series.
He began his career by writing poetry for PBS after he left the Navy.
He married his wife Barbara in 1988 and was a stepfather to her son, Kevin. He has no biological children of his own.
He passed away in Glendale, California on New Years Eve in 2013 after complications from open heart surgery.
His wife stayed by his side during his last moments. She left to get something to eat and when she returned she discovered he passed away. She missed the chance to say goodbye but she believes he held on until he could go without her watching him.
He was cremated and his remains were scattered in the Pacific Ocean.
“Some of my greatest lessons in acting, living, and being a respectable human being came through James Avery. Every young man needs an Uncle Phil. Rest In Peace.”