John Witherspoon, comedian and actor who starred in 'Friday,' has died at 77

Comedian and actor John Witherspoon has died at the age of 77, a family spokesperson told CNN.

Posted: Oct 30, 2019 3:28 AM
Updated: Oct 30, 2019 2:15 PM


Actor and comedian John Witherspoon, whose hilarious takes on father-figure characters made for iconic scenes in a number of movies and television shows including 'Friday,' died at his home Tuesday, a family spokesperson told CNN.

'It is with 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 huge deal to us.'

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Witherspoon kicked off his career as a stand-up comedian and made his television debut in the 1970s, appearing in shows including the detective series 'Barnaby Jones.'

He was, arguably, best known for playing Ice Cube's dad in the 'Friday,' film series. The 1995 comedy and its sequels, 'Next Friday' and 'Friday After Next,' chronicle the trials of a man as he tries to make it through the day.

'I'm devastated over the passing of John Witherspoon,' Ice Cube wrote on Twitter. 'Life won't be as funny without him.'

Witherspoon also played dad, John 'Pops' Williams, to the title characters on the sitcom 'The Wayans Bros.' and he was 'Spoon' on NBC's 'The Tracy Morgan Show.' The actor also had roles in the movies 'Boomerang' and 'Vampire in Brooklyn,' both of which starred Eddie Murphy.

'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 men,' Marlon Wayans wrote on Instagram, as a tribute to his TV dad. 'Thank you God for the many many many laughs that we shared on and off the set.'

'My dad, my grandpa, my comedic inspiration,' actress Regina King wrote on Twitter Tuesday night. 'I love you Spoons! Rest In Paradise, King.'

The two worked together on 'Friday' and the animated show 'The Boondocks,' which aired from 2005 through 2014 and offered a satirical take on African American culture and politics.

Witherspoon voiced 'granddad,' one of the foul-mouthed Freemans in the show.

He had recently hinted on the 'Joe Rogan Experience' podcast that he might return to the role after Sony Pictures Animation announced plans to bring the series back.

Actress Marsha Warfield also paid tribute to the comic.

'I'm so sorry to hear this,' she said. 'To me, Spoon was a friend, a brother, a funny, talented comedian and a good man.'

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 348766

Reported Deaths: 4161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah54797689
Washington37988313
Marion36055444
Clackamas29094304
Lane26966298
Jackson22632300
Deschutes19577123
Umatilla14241144
Linn12380120
Douglas11795240
Josephine9233195
Yamhill8517110
Klamath7709110
Polk715380
Malheur551574
Benton529130
Coos489691
Columbia371343
Jefferson361450
Union313146
Lincoln310638
Wasco281540
Crook274745
Clatsop239529
Baker198028
Tillamook193328
Hood River188337
Morrow181623
Curry178122
Harney108424
Grant97612
Lake89011
Wallowa67012
Gilliam1484
Sherman1463
Wheeler991
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4812309

Reported Deaths: 70616
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147679126410
Riverside3693444990
San Diego3646344163
San Bernardino3563155566
Orange3227415518
Sacramento1576212279
Santa Clara1445181890
Kern1441461605
Fresno1441232051
Alameda1198871374
San Joaquin1018071708
Ventura1005241164
Contra Costa99234982
Stanislaus851571315
Tulare78945951
San Francisco54031645
San Mateo53828622
Monterey50696582
Solano45761334
Santa Barbara44836521
Merced41781577
Sonoma40711402
Placer38902415
Imperial35642764
Kings32369314
San Luis Obispo29653329
Madera23518281
Butte23364260
Shasta23360334
Santa Cruz20861218
Yolo20147247
Marin17581243
El Dorado16960149
Sutter13775169
Napa12808100
Yuba994282
Tehama9298104
Humboldt9102108
Nevada903990
Mendocino752786
Lassen746346
San Benito737372
Tuolumne673993
Lake6506104
Amador537264
Siskiyou442742
Glenn430330
Calaveras381780
Del Norte356141
Colusa301718
Inyo196739
Mono16445
Plumas15756
Mariposa127315
Trinity86011
Modoc6698
Unassigned1860
Sierra1760
Alpine1020
Out of CA00
Medford
Mostly Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 51°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 51°
$util.getURL($wxURL)
Grants Pass
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 51°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 37°
General drying trend today
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Knowing the risks of breast cancer.

Image

Monday, October 18 morning weather

Image

Sunday, October 17th Weather

Image

Sunday, October 17 weather

Image

Coping with a breast cancer diagnosis

Image

Klamath National Forest prepares for fall prescribed burning

Image

Saturday, October 16th Weather

Image

'Panther Spirit' remains alive amidst 1-5 start

Image

Friday Night Blitz: Week 7

Image

Friday, October 15th Evening Weather