Watch James Avery Talk About Voicing Shredder in the Ninja Turtles Cartoon

01/02/2014 at 10:00 AM EST

As pop-culture obsessives and children of the 1990s mourn the passing of James Avery, aka Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, it's important to remember that Avery was the soul of another iconic '90s character.

He was the voice of Shredder on the animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, and we can never, ever forget that.

Avery should have won The Sixth Man award for '80s television (an award we just made up). He guested on a wide swath of the decade's most iconic TV shows, including Webster, The Dukes of Hazzard, St. Elsewhere, Moonlighting, L.A. Law, Dallas and The A-Team.

But Avery also worked extensively as a voice actor, lending his talents to The Real Ghostbusters, Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling and two short-lived animated series based on violent action movies (the '80s were a strange time): Karate Kommandos (starring Chuck Norris), and Rambo and the Forces of Freedom.

Then, his big break: In 1987, Avery became the voice of primary turtle antagonist the Shredder in the animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, which ran for 10 seasons.

Avery continued his voice acting through the '90s, notching roles on Gargoyles, Spider-Man, The Wild Thornberrys and, er, Captain Simian & the Space Monkeys.

So enjoy this clip of Avery talking about his time on TMNT and bask in the knowledge that a benevolent (if easily angered) family man from one '90s series was also a villainous ninja on another.



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