The actor who played Ice Cube’s father in the “Friday” films died yesterday. Witherspoon’s manager Alex Goodman confirmed last night that John has passed away, but no cause of death is yet released.
Officially the news was announced on Witherspoon’s Twitter account alongside a photo of the late actor.
“It is with deep sadness we have to tweet this, but our husband and father John Witherspoon has passed away,” the statement read. “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.”
It is with deep sadness we have to tweet 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 pic.twitter.com/ov9P34kaMn
— John Witherspoon (@John_POPS_Spoon) October 30, 2019
The actor had a prolific career. He co-starred in three “Friday” films, appeared on “The Wayans Bros.” television series and voiced the grandfather in “The Boondocks” animated series. He also played a role in “Vampire in Brooklyn” and “Boomerang,” and he was a frequent guest on “Late Show with David Letterman.”
Hollywood is saying goodbye to “Pops.”
John Witherspoon was appreciated by many in Hollywood. Ice Cubes, Regina King, Marlon Wayans,
Martin Lawrence, Chance The Rapper, Jackée Harry reacted to the news. The celebrities, after hearing the devastating news shared their sympathy and respects on their profiles.
His son, J.D. Witherspoon, also wrote a few words to honor his dad’s memory.
“So…my Dad died today & honestly I’m not sure how to feel. I’m sad, but I’m also happy 4 all the great times we had together. We’d roast each other like homies more than Father and Son, and I really liked that. He was my best friend & my idol. Love U Dad…I’ll miss u. – J.D.”
So…my Dad died today & honestly I’m not sure how to feel. I’m sad, but I’m also happy 4 all the great times we had together. We’d roast each other like homies more than Father & Son, and I really liked that. He was my best friend & my idol.
Love U Dad…I’ll miss u.
– J.D. pic.twitter.com/zvzep5S11I
— J.D. (@jdwitherspoon) October 30, 2019
Ice Cube, who played Witherspoon’s on-screen son in the Friday films, posted about the loss, writing, “I’m devastated over the passing of John Witherspoon. Life won’t be as funny without him.”
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
Regina King, also a co-star of the late actor shared her emotions. “My dad, my grandpa, my comedic inspiration! I love you Spoons! Rest In Paradise, King.”
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
Marlon Wayans shared a lengthy Instagram post about the actor, saying he feels broken by the news.
“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,” he wrote. “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.”
Here are all the other reactions.
The world has lost a true comedy legend and all around genuine soul, who paved the way for so many of us to be able to do what we love. My deepest condolences to John’s family. I know he’s already up there makin everyone laugh 🙏🏾 #rip #comedy #legend #JohnWitherspoon pic.twitter.com/mKzXUGK8Uw
— Martin Lawrence (@realmartymar) October 30, 2019
God bless John Witherspoon. The definition of an icon. Wow. pic.twitter.com/2wUBXglzSW
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) October 30, 2019