Actor and comedian John Witherspoon, whose hilarious takes on father-figure characters made for iconic scenes in a number of movies and television shows including “Friday,” died at his home Tuesday.
What We Know:
- Born in Detroit, Michigan, Witherspoon kicked off his career as a stand-up comedian and made his television debut in the 1970s, appearing in shows including the detective series “Barnaby Jones.”
- Witherspoon also played dad, John “Pops” Williams, to the title characters on the sitcom “The Wayans Bros.” and he was “Spoon” on NBC’s “The Tracy Morgan Show.” The actor also had roles in the movies “Boomerang” and “Vampire in Brooklyn,” both of which starred Eddie Murphy.
- Many believe Witherspoon was best known for playing Ice Cube’s dad in the “Friday,” film series. The 1995 comedy and its sequels, “Next Friday” and “Friday After Next,” chronicle the trials of a man as he tries to make it through the day.
- The family made the announcement on Witherspoon’s Twitter account late Tuesday.
“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,” his family said in a statement. Witherspoon is survived by his wife, two sons and “a large family,” the statement said.“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 huge deal to us.”
- A slew of celebrities and former colleagues posted tributes throughout the night and early morning.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Witherspoon family. Funeral arrangements have not been made. We will provided further updates here.