30 October 2019 16:37
The versatile actor and comic, who played Ice Cube's father in the comedy franchise, has died in Los Angeles Actor-comedian John Witherspoon, who memorably played Ice Cube's father in the Friday films, has died. His manager Alex Goodman confirmed that Witherspoon died in Los Angeles. No cause of death was released. The actor had a prolific career, co-starring in three Friday films, appearing on The Wayans Bros television series and voicing the grandfather in The Boondocks animated series. His film roles included Vampire in Brooklyn and Boomerang, and he was a frequent guest on Late Show with David Letterman.
For many, his most recognisable role was Pops, Ice Cube's father in the stoner comedy Friday and its two sequels, playing a crude but affectionate father trying to guide his son to be better. "Life won't be as funny without him," Ice Cube said in a Twitter post, adding that he was devastated by news of Witherspoon's death. Regina King, who appeared as Witherspoon's daughter in Friday and also voiced both of his grandsons in the animated series The Boondocks, called him her "comedic inspiration" on Twitter. Goodman referred to a family statement issued to Deadline that said the family was in shock over Witherspoon's death. The statement says Witherspoon, who was born on 27 January, 1942, is survived by his wife, Angela, and sons JD and Alexander.
Witherspoon is survived by his wife, two sons and "a large family," the statement said. John used to say 'I'm no big deal,' but he was huge deal to us." 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 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." FANS of John Witherspooon are in mourning following the news of his death. But how did the actor die and what did he star in? We take a look back over his life. Actor John Witherspoon passed away at the age of 77 Credit: Getty - Contributor Who was John Witherspoon? John Witherspoon was born on January 27, 1942 and was an American actor and comedian. He is best known for his role as Willie Jones in the Friday series of films. In the 90s movie franchise his character was the grumpy father of rapper Ice Cube. John reprised the role in Friday's sequels Next Friday and Friday After Next. One of his most popular TV roles was in 1990s comedy series The Wayans Bros, in which he played Pops, the on-screen father of Shawn and Marlon Wayans. He is best known for starring in the Friday films alongside Ice Cube Credit: Rex Features How did John Witherspoon die? John died at his home in Los Angeles on October 29, 2019. He was 77 at his time of death. It has not yet been revealed how he died. John is survived by his wife Angela, and sons JD and Alexander. What have John Witherspoon's family said about his death? John's family made this emotional statement: More on TV & showbiz HAY, Katie! Katie Price's ex Kieran Hayler has dig at her 'unstable' parenting on Instagram SAY WATTS? How old is Naomi Watts and what's her net worth? throne off course GoT: Bloodmoon star admits she's been 'thrown' by prequel's axing Exclusive SOUL-MAE Molly-Mae says she and Tommy are 'meant to be' and living together is 'perfect' nexit How to cancel Netflix from your phone, computer or laptop GET ME OUT HERE! I'm A Celebrity 2019 line-up - confirmed and rumoured contestants DEVIL YOU KNOW The Devil Next Door - Netflix release date & what is the documentary about? baby boom Emmerdale's Kerry to get PREGNANT with Cain's baby behind Moira's back, say fans MUMMY SIMPSON Geordie Shore's Marnie Simpson has given birth to a 'beautiful' baby boy fright night The seven best horrors on Netflix right now - from Scream to The Sixth Sense "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 huge deal to us."