The beloved actor, known for his role in the Wayans Brothers, passed away yesterday. Legendary for his comedy chops and good-natured sense of humor, he was also loved by audiences for his roles in Hollywood Shuffle, Friday and Boomerang.
It’s not immediately evident what happened, but John Witherspoon was 77 when he passed away unexpectedly yesterday at his Southern California home. Following the news of his passing, there was an outpouring of condolences and love on social media.
How did John Witherspoon Pass Away?
The actor was simply at home, according to the official press release, and his tragic passing came as a shock to his friends and family. Witherspoon is survived by his wife, Angela, sons Alexander and JD, and, according to the press release a “large family.”
Our condolences go out to his family in this time of grief, though, as the release insists, now is also a time to celebrate the actor’s life and legacy.
John Witherspoon’s Legacy
“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,” runs the official release regarding Witherspoon’s untimely passing. In addition to the laughs and good humor he brought into the lives of millions, he also leaves behind a loving family.
JD tweeted a heartfelt tribute to his father yesterday after the news broke. “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.”
Notable Roles Played by John Witherspoon
Witherspoon is likely best remembered by audiences for his roles in comedic films. Notably, he played Ice Cube’s father in Friday, the character “Pops” on The Wayans Bros., and Robert “Granddad” Freeman on The Boondocks.
Witherspoon’s unexpected passing left many online befuddled, with many hoping the tweets saying farewell to him weren’t real. Others glumly summed the situation up much like Twitter user “Tune”: “John Witherspoon is one of those presences you just expect to always be around man.”