- Joined the Navy after graduating high school and served in Vietnam.
- Settled in San Diego after leaving the Navy, writing scripts for PBS and eventually earning a scholarship to study at the University of California.
- His character Philip Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was ranked #34 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time.
- Has a scholarship in his name at Thurgood Marshall College at UC San Diego.
- Kevin Waters — Stepson
- Barbara Avery — Wife
- Florence Avery — Mother
- University of California, San Diego, California, United States (BA in Drama and Literature, 1976)
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- Birth Name: James La Rue Avery
- Birth Place: Pughsville, Virginia, United States
- Birthday: November 27, 1945, Sagittarius
- Died: December 31, 2013
- Profession: Actor
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