Lifestyle & Human Interest

Actor and Comedian John Witherspoon Dead at Age 77


Actor and comedian John Witherspoon died in his Los Angeles home late Tuesday night. He was 77 years old.

Witherspoon’s family announced his death on his Twitter page.

“It is with deep sadness we have to tweet this, but our husband & father John Witherspoon has passed away,” they wrote.

“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.”

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In a statement to Deadline the family also 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 huge deal to us.”

He is survived by his wife, Angela, his two sons, JD and Alexander, and his extended family.

JD Witherspoon reflected on the “great times” he and his father had together.

“I’m sad, but I’m also happy 4 all the great times we had together.” he wrote. “We’d roast each other like homies more than Father & Son, and I really liked that. He was my best friend & my idol.”

The comedian began his acting career in the 1970s in television shows such as “Barnaby Jones” and “The Richard Pryor Show,” according to IMDb.

He also starred in the 1980 film “The Jazz Singer.”

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But his most recognizable role was in the “Friday” franchise in which he played Ice Cube’s father, affectionately known as “Pops.”

Ice Cube expressed his heartbreak over the news of Witherspoon’s death on Twitter late last night.

“I’m devastated over the passing of John Witherspoon. Life won’t be as funny without him,” he wrote.

Regina King, who played Witherspoon’s daughter in “Friday,” also paid tribute to her on-screen dad.

“My dad, my grandpa, my comedic inspiration!” she wrote. “I love you Spoons! Rest In Paradise, King.”

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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