Reactions as ‘Friday’ actor John Witherspoon dies at 77 but leaves us with a world of fun

Novieku Babatunde Adeola October 30, 2019
Photo: E! News

The life of John Witherspoon is one for the history books as a hilarious father-figure, an icon in the movie industry among others.

Known famously for his popular television shows and a successful career spanning five decades, a family spokesperson confirmed to the press that he died at his home on Tuesday.

“It is with the 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,” his family said in a statement.

Witherspoon is survived by his wife, two sons and “a large family,” the statement said.

“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.”

At 77 years old, Witherspoon was best known for his roles as Willie Jones in the Friday series and voicing Robert Jebediah “Grandad” Freeman, in the comic series, The Boondocks. 

He has acted in movies and TV shows in his successful career including Hollywood Shuffle, Boomerang, Vampire In Brooklyn, I’m Gonna Get You Sucka, House Party, Soul plane, Little Man, Black-ish, Black Jesus, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and The Incredible Hulk.

He was set to reprise his role in the movie, Last Friday until his death. His role as the hilarious father of Ice Cubes in F. Gary Gary’s Friday (1995) and its two sequels Next Friday (2000) and Friday After Next (2002), made him a household name in the industry.

Survived by two sons, Witherspoon was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1942. Born into a family of 11 siblings, he started his career as a songwriter for Motown. With a passion for the art still burning, he learned to play the trumpet and French horn. 

Family, friends, actors, and acquittances took some time to mourn the sudden loss of the comedian and actor.

Last Edited by:Kent Mensah Updated: October 30, 2019


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