James Avery, who died Dec. 31, will always be best remembered as Philip Banks, the patriarch and uncle of Will Smith's character on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." That character was even recognized by TV Guide at No. 34 among the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All-Time."
While Avery mostly had guest starring roles in television and movies, here are five of his most memorable other performances: Avery loaned his distinct voice to the role of Shredder from 1987 to 1993 on the animated television series "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and the 1991 TV film "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Planet of the Turteloids." In 2004, Avery starred in a couple of episodes of "That '70s Show" as Officer Kennedy, the commanding officer of Ashton Kutcher's Michael Kelso at the police academy. One of his most memorable, although minor roles in film was as the DMV examiner for Corey Haim's character Les Anderson in the 1988 film "License to Drive." He also starred opposite Eddie Murphy in "Dr. Dolittle 2" as Eldon. Avery's longest running character late in his career was that of Dr. Crippen, the original medical examiner on "The Closer," from 2005 to 2007. Avery's character was one of many rankled by the main character played by Kyra Sedgwick. In keeping with his fondness for portraying characters in the legal field, including many roles as a judge, Avery starred as Alonzo Sparks in "Sparks" from 1996 to 1998. The sitcom followed the lives of a family of lawyers who owned a law practice. The series also starred Robin Givens and Terrence Howard.