John Witherspoon, an actor and comedian who was best known for his role in the “Friday” movie and as ‘Pops’ in “The Wayans Bros.,” “The Tracy Morgan Show” and the animated “The Boondocks,” died yesterday at his home in Sherman Oaks, Calif. He was 77.
His son shared the death on his Twitter account.
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.— John Witherspoon (@John_POPS_Spoon) October 30, 2019
- The Witherspoon Family pic.twitter.com/ov9P34kaMn
Widely known as a comedy great Witherspoon was born in Detroit in 1942 as John Weatherspoon. He started his career doing stand-up comedy career and began acting in the late 1970s. Witherspoon was best known for his role as Ice Cube’s dad in the movie Friday. Reprising his role in sequels Next Friday and Friday After Next. He was also expected to be featured in the upcoming final installment of the franchise titled Last Friday.
Witherspoon was also the voice of Gramps on The Boondocks. He likely would’ve returned for the series’ upcoming resurgence on HBO Max. Also known for his role as Pops on The Wayans Bros., Witherspoon did stints on such comedy series as The Tracy Morgan Show, The First Family and Black Jesus.
Even with his busy film and TV career, standup comedy remained an important part of Witherspoon’s life. At age 77, he continued to perform regularly and had several dates coming up at the time of his death. He will be greatly missed.