james averyIf you grew up in the early '90s, there's no doubt that you knew all the lyrics (and unsuccessfully tried to rap them) to the opening of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The popular, hilarious show shot Will Smith to superstardom and had a little bit of everything for everyone.

The patriarch of the family, whom Will referred to affectionally as "Uncle Phil," was played by James Avery, who sadly passed away at just 68 years old. He leaves behind his loving wife Barbara, to whom he's been married since 1988, his mother, and his stepson, Kevin. According to his mother, he died from complications from heart surgery.

Rest in peace, big guy.

Known for his imposing size (which Will never let him forget), his deep, booming voice, and his always amazing intentions, he was the type of father figure on Fresh Prince that you adored ... but were constantly frightened of. So, in honor of Uncle Phil, here's a look back at some of his best, most hilarious, as well as most terrifying moments:

A quick roundup of Uncle Phil at his finest (when he's his most evil):

And here's Uncle Phil lecturing Will and Carlton when they had to strip to earn some money ... reasons why having a judge as a father could be super-intimidating:

Uncle Phil hustling at the local pool hall:

Even Uncle Phil sitting on a bed can be downright hilarious:

Here he is at his most badass after Will and Carlton were mistakenly arrested:

Some of the best Fresh Prince fat jokes ... thanks for being such a good sport, James (and ha Don Cheadle!):

Will and Uncle Phil bustin' a move:

And yet again:

Carlton forcing his father to try on some wigs:

Every time Uncle Phil threw Jazz out of the house, it was laugh-worthy. Here is the very first time:

A sad moment when Uncle Phil proves he's more of a dad to Will than Will's own father ever could be:

Uncle Phil, Will, and Carlton struggling to get through a scene in an awesome blooper:

And be sure to always vote Philip Banks:

It's a testament to his acting skills how he was able to keep a straight face during this scene:

Finally, the whole family dancing to The Temptations:

Thanks for all the laughs, James.

Were you a fan of Fresh Prince? Did you have a favorite Uncle Phil moment?

 

Image via Jason de Nobrega/YouTube