Witherspoon, who died suddenly in his home, has had parts in some of the most iconic movies of the last 30 years.
Legendary comedic actor John Witherspoon, who is known for his roles in properties like Friday, The Boondocks, The Wayans Bros., and more, died at his home on Tuesday, October 29th. He was 77. According to Deadline, the death was sudden.
Witherspoon’s family confirmed the death on his social media pages.
It is with deep sadness we have to tweet this, but our husband & father John Witherspoon has passed away. 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 pic.twitter.com/ov9P34kaMn
— John Witherspoon (@John_POPS_Spoon) October 30, 2019
As soon as the news came out, family, fans, and colleagues posted their condolences on social media. Witherspoon’s son J.D. posted a loving message to his father:
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.
– J.D. pic.twitter.com/zvzep5S11I
— J.D. (@jdwitherspoon) October 30, 2019
Regina King and Ice Cube, who worked with Witherspoon on Friday, also posted tributes:
My dad, my grandpa, my comedic inspiration! I love you Spoons! Rest In Paradise, King pic.twitter.com/U6GsNrrKXF
— Regina King (@ReginaKing) October 30, 2019
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
Marlon Wayans, who starred with Witherspoon on The Wayans Bros. and Jackée Harry, who worked on The First Family with him, also wrote tributes:
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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. You have a strong wife and great kids. What an amazing family. Your boys damn near grew up on the #WayansBros set they’ll always be like my little brothers and sons. i will pass on all the jewels that you bestowed on to us. Thank you God for the many many many laughs that we shared on and off the set. You got “all the keys 🔑 “ and i know you got one to heaven’s gate. Anytime i want to laugh or to see you I’m gonna put on a episode of wayans bros and laugh until i cry. I miss already…. hope your dancing in heaven with ugly white shoes on. “Pops pops sugar pops”. #ripjohnwitherspoon #mysecondpops
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I’m absolutely shattered at the news of my great friend John Witherspoon passing. May love surround his entire family and fan base – a comedy legend we’ll never forget. 🙏💜 pic.twitter.com/PqO0nysZTj
— Jackée Harry (@JackeeHarry) October 30, 2019
John Witherspoon — originally John Weatherspoon — was born in Detroit in 1942. He started his career as a standup comic and then transitioned to doing TV and movie work (although he never stopped performing standup.) Since the ’80s, he had parts in cult classics like I’m Gonna Get You Sucka, House Party, Boomerang, The Meteor Man, Vampire in Brooklyn, Ride, and more. He also made appearances on numerous TV shows, including Martin, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Living Single, The Tracy Morgan Show, and more.
Fans would most closely associate Witherspoon with one title, however: Pops. In 1995, Witherspoon would star as Ice Cube’s dad “Pops” in the classic Friday. He would also appear in the sequels Next Friday and Friday After Next, and seemed down to do Last Friday.)
He also played Pops on the cult TV classic on The Wayans Bros.
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