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James Avery Biography

Birth Name:
James La Rue Avery
Birth Place:
Pughsville, Virginia, United States

Fast Facts

  • 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


  • Florence Avery -- Mother
  • Kevin Waters -- Stepson
  • Barbara Avery -- Wife