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John Witherspoon

Source: Richmond Funny Bone / Richmond Funny Bone

Actor-comedian John Witherspoon, who made audiences laugh in TV shows and films had died suddenly at his home Tuesday. He was 77.

Witherspoon’s family said in a statement to Deadline.

“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.”

The Detroit native launched a stand-up comedy career and began acting in the late 1970s with guest-starring TV roles. Witherspoon appeared in a number of films in his early career, including; Hollywood Shuffle, Boomerang, Vampire in Brooklyn, The Ladies Man and Fakin’ Da Funk. 

Out of all his roles, Witherspoon is probably best known for his role as Ice Cube’s father in the Friday film series. Also known for his role as “Pops” on The Wayans Bros., more recently he made appearances on comedy series like The Tracy Morgan Show, The First Family and Black Jesus.

Before his untimely passing Tuesday, Witherspoon continued to travel and make appearances doing comedy.

We send our condolences to the family.