October 30, 2019
Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images
John Witherspoon‘s family confirmed the death of the beloved actor and comedian early Wednesday morning on his Instagram. He was 77.
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It is with deep sadness we have to write 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. – The Witherspoon Family
Over the next few hours, celebrities like David Alan Grier, Arsenio Hall, Ice Cube, Regina King, Loni Love and Marlon Wayans took to social media to share their memories of the comedic genius.
RIP my brother. You will be missed. Mannnnnnn this is a hard one. 🙏🏾John Witherspoon, Beloved 'Friday' and 'The Wayans Bros.' Star, Dead at 77 | Entertainment Tonight https://t.co/iUzyjCI4U1
— David Alan Grier (@davidalangrier) October 30, 2019
🎤 This day began with such joy.
And it’s ending with this heart wrenching news of John Witherspoon’s passing. One of our comic brothers. 🌹 RIP pic.twitter.com/efSqqw6BHJ
— Arsenio Hall (@ArsenioHall) October 30, 2019
I’m devastated over the passing of John Witherspoon. Life won’t be as funny without him. pic.twitter.com/gtmiZiEppP
— Ice Cube (@icecube) October 30, 2019
My dad, my grandpa, my comedic inspiration! I love you Spoons! Rest In Paradise, King pic.twitter.com/U6GsNrrKXF
— Regina King (@ReginaKing) October 30, 2019
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I’m sad. Broken. Hurt.. yet extremely grateful to God that i got to spend 5 years of my life working with one of the funniest sweetest wisest humblest loving man @johnnywitherspoon you were my tv dad and my mentor and my friend. I miss you already. Something don’t feel right. This is heavy on my heart. Anyone that knows me knows how much i love pops. You have a strong wife and great kids. What an amazing family. Your boys damn near grew up on the #WayansBros set they’ll always be like my little brothers and sons. i will pass on all the jewels that you bestowed on to us. Thank you God for the many many many laughs that we shared on and off the set. You got “all the keys 🔑 “ and i know you got one to heaven’s gate. Anytime i want to laugh or to see you I’m gonna put on a episode of wayans bros and laugh until i cry. I miss already…. hope your dancing in heaven with ugly white shoes on. “Pops pops sugar pops”. #ripjohnwitherspoon #mysecondpops
Most known for his iconic roles in Boomerang, Friday, Friday After Next, The Wayans Bros. and more, the Detroit native got his early start in comedy in the ’70s and 80’s and would later appear in films, Hollywood Shuffle, Vampire in Brooklyn, The Ladies Man and Fakin’ Da Funk.
Just last week the funny man sat with the DL Hughley Show to discuss his incredible 30-year career. Watch below.
At the 2018 Emmys, host Michael Che included Witherspoon in Reparation Emmys, a skit that paid tribute to our television legends who never got their just due.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Witherspoon family and friends.