Celebrities and fans rushed to post tributes when it was announced that this much-loved actor passed away on Tuesday, October 29th.
John Witherspoon, an actor and comedian known for his work on Boomerang, Friday, Hollywood Shuffle, The Five Heartbeats, and The Wayans Bros. died on Tuesday at the age of 77 at his home in Southern California.
Witherspoon’s family released a statement saying, “It is with deepest sorrow that we can confirm our beloved husband and father, John Witherspoon, one of the hardest working men in show business, died today at his home in Sherman Oaks at the age of 77. He is survived by his wife Angela, and his sons JD, Alexander, and a large family. We are all in shock, please give us a minute for a moment in privacy and we will celebrate his life and his work together. John used to say ‘I’m no big deal’, but he was a huge deal to us.”
Witherspoon was born in Detroit and launched his career as a stand-up comedian during the ’60s. He had guest spots on The Richard Pryor Show, The Incredible Hulk, What’s Happening, Good times, 227, Hill Street Blues, and Amen.
He grew in popularity for characters like “Pops” on The Wayans Bros. and as Ice Cube’s father on Friday.
His last roles before his passing include Black Jesus, Bojack Horseman, and Last Friday.
His son also posted on Twitter with pictures of him and his dad with the caption, “So… My dad died today & honestly I’m not sure how to feel. I’m sad, but I’m also happy 4 all the great times we had together. We’d roast each other like homies more than father & son, and I really liked that. He was my best friend & my idol. Love U Dad… I’ll miss U.”
His co-star on The Boondocks, Regina King, posted, “My dad, my grandpa, my comedic inspiration! I love you spoons! Rest in paradise, king.”
Ice-Cube tweeted, “I’m devastated over the passing of John Witherspoon. Life won’t be as funny without him.”
Marlon Wayans posted on Instagram, “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. Something don’t feel right. This is heavy on my heart. Anyone that knows me knows how much I love pops.”
John Witherspoon will clearly be missed by his legions of fans and the actors who were lucky enough to work with him over the years.