Comedian John Witherspoon Has Passed Away At The Age Of 77

Actor/Comedian John Witherspoon, who made us laugh for decades, in television, movies, and on stage, has passed away. The Friday star died suddenly at his home this evening. He was 77 years old. His family released a statement about four hours ago.

“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.” Witherspoon’s family said in the statement. “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.”

Witherspoon was born in Detroit in 1942 as John Weatherspoon. He launched a stand-up comedy career and began acting in the late 1970s with guest-starring TV roles, making his feature debut in the 1980 The Jazz Singer. Witherspoon appeared in numerous films, including Hollywood Shuffle, Boomerang, Vampire in Brooklyn, I’m Gonna Get You Sucka, Bird and The Meteor Man. 

Witherspoon was perhaps best known for his role as Ice Cube’s grumpy dad in Friday. He also appeared in the sequels Next FridayFriday After Next, and was expected to reprise his role in the long-gestating final installment of the franchise titled Last Friday. R.I.P. “POPS”