After the sad death of James Avery this week, it’s time to celebrate his greatest character, and why he was the greatest parent that we never had.
Many actors may lament the fact that their entire career is all but defined by just one of their characters, but in the case of Avery’s Philip Banks, it is rather a testament to how universally loved and admired the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s father (and uncle) truly was. Whether he was bustin’ a move to ‘Spill the Wine’, hurling popular 90 s disc jockeys across his front lawn or breaking out ‘Lucille’ in the local pool hall, Uncle Phil entertained and inspired a generation, becoming a household name all over the world, and remaining just as popular and revered eighteen years after the show ended.
So join us for a stroll down memory lane, as we pinpoint exactly why the Fresh Prince’s resident patriarch ‘Uncle’ Philip Banks might just be the greatest father in television history.
18. He Could Dance
For a big guy, Uncle Phil sure knew how to shake his moneymaker. Adept at both ‘The Bump’ and ‘The Swim’ (amongst others, of course), it seems evident that Carlton inherited his own moves from his James Brown-loving father. It was no rare occurrence to for Uncle Phil to boogie on down in the presence of others, either, and he even strutted his stuff down the Soul Train Line.
17. He Knew How To Rock A Suit
As a lawyer, it’s no surprise that Uncle Phil had exemplary taste in suits. Granted, he must have had a pretty expensive tailor (in addition to his ample waistline, he was also 6’5 ), but luckily he had the money to be able to afford it. As the years progressed, his style even started to rub off on his kids, too.
16. He Could Eat Like A Champ
It almost goes without saying that Uncle Phil knew how to put it away. Even against such fierce competition as Homer Simpson, Dan Conner and Tony Soprano, the smart man’s money in any pie-eating contest would be on Philip Banks. His commitment to eating even landed him in the emergency room in Season 4, after he suffered a heart attack midway through consuming a cheeseburger. Now that’s dedication.
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