LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) – John Witherspoon, the legendary comic and actor best known for his role in the cult Friday film franchise, has passed away at the age of 77.
His family confirmed the news in a statement posted to Twitter Wednesday (Oct. 30) that read: “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.”
Witherspoon began appearing on television during the 1970s with spots on shows such as Barnaby Jones, The Richard Pryor Show, The Incredible Hulk and Good Times. He later became known for such memorable roles as John “Pops” Williams on The Wayan Bros. TV show, for voicing Gramps in cult animated show The Boondocks, as well as for roles in films such as House Party, Meteor Man, Vampire in Brooklyn, Bulworth and Dr. Doolittle 2. More recently he starred in Adult Swim’s Black Jesus, and the Obama-inspired sitcom The First Family.
But, his most memorable and hilarious role of all remains that of Ice Cube’s father in F. Gary Gray’s Friday (1995) and its sequels Next Friday (2000) and Friday After Next (2002).
“I’m devastated over the passing of John Witherspoon. Life won’t be as funny without him,” Ice Cube said on Twitter late Tuesday.
Witherspoon is survived by his wife, Angela, and sons JD and Alexander and a large extended family.