On October 29, actor and comedian John Witherspoon, who starred in countless movies and many TV shows, for over the past 4 decades, died at his home at the age of 77 from a heart attack.
The family of John Witherspoon released a statement to the media saying:
“It is with deepest sorrow that we can confirm our beloved husband and father, John Witherspoon, one of the hardest working man in show business, died today at his home in Sherman Oaks at the age of 77.” The family continued the statement by saying, “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.”
John Witherspoon was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1942. He later began his career as an entertainer and became a stand up comedian in the 1970’s. Just a few years after, he made his first television debut by appearing in shows including a detective series called Barnaby Jones.
Despite his roles in shows, in 1995, John Witherspoon arguably starred in his most known, and iconic role, in the comedy film, Friday starring Chris Tucker and Ice Cube. In this movie he played the role of Ice Cube’s dad. He continued to play his dad for the rest of its sequels, Next Friday and Friday After Next.
Ice Cube and many other celebrities that worked with, or were close with, John Witherspoon spoke about his death over social media. “I’m devastated over the passing of John Witherspoon, Life won’t be as funny without him.” Ice Cube wrote on Twitter.
Another huge role John Witherspoon also played was the character, John “Pops” Williams, in the hit show The Wayans Bros, where he also played a father figure. “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 men,” Marlon Wayans, who played the son of John Witherspoon on The Wayans Bros, wrote on Instagram.
Many other celebrities including Regina King, Edie Murphy, Chris Tucker, and countless others sent their condolences and reminiscing about the times they shared with John Witherspoon.
John Witherspoon is survived by his wife and two sons.