Actor and comedian John Witherspoon sadly passed away on Tuesday, October 29, in his home in Sherman Oaks, California at the age of 77. The co-star of the Friday films was beloved by so many.
John Witherspoon Remembered
The news was confirmed by Witherspoon’s family on his Instagram account with the family writing, “It is with deep sadness we have to tweet this, but our husband & father John Witherspoon has passed away.”
The statement continued, “He was a Legend in the entertainment industry, and a father figure to all who watched him over the years. We love you ‘POPS’ always & forever. – The Witherspoon Family.”
No details were given about how Witherspoon died, but it was apparently unexpected. The actor began his career as a stand-up comic before transitioning to television where he appeared on shows such as The Richard Pryor Show, L.A. Law, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and The Wayans Bros.
In fact, Marlon Wayans — who played his son on The Wayans Bros — took to Instagram to share a heartfelt message about Witherspoon’s passing.
“I’m sad. Broken. Hurt.. yet extremely grateful to God that i got to spend 5 years of my life working with one of the funniest sweetest wisest humblest loving man @johnnywitherspoon you were my tv dad and my mentor and my friend. I miss you already,” he wrote.
Witherspoon made his feature film debut in the 1980 film, The Jazz Singer, which starred Neil Diamond and the legendary Laurence Olivier.
An Amazing Career
He then went on to appear in films such as Boomerang, Vampire in Brooklyn, and The Ladies Man, but he is best known for playing Ice Cube’s dad in the 1995 film, Friday, as well as the two sequels, Next Friday and Friday After Next.
Ice Cube also took to social media to share his sadness over Witherspoon’s passing, writing on Twitter, “I’m devastated over the passing of John Witherspoon. Life won’t be as funny without him.”
Witherspoon is survived by his wife, Angela Robinson, and their two sons, John David and Alexander. Entertainment Hub’s thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones during this very difficult time.
I’m devastated over the passing of John Witherspoon. Life won’t be as funny without him. pic.twitter.com/gtmiZiEppP
— Ice Cube (@icecube) October 30, 2019