In tragic news, the Witherspoon family announced the 'Friday' star's sad death. Condolences have come flooding in since.
John Witherspoon had a prolific acting and comedy career spanning almost 60 years. Sadly, he has passed away at the age of 77, The Guardian reports. He was best known for his role as Ice Cube's father in the Friday films, a series of American stoner comedy films. Ever since news of his passing broke, well wishes and condolences have come flooding in from loved ones, friends, and family. Fans across the nation, too, have taken to social media platforms in order to share their grievances. Needless to say, Witherspoon will be deeply missed by those close to him as well as the numerous fans who adored his work.
In a statement issued to Deadline, the Witherspoon family stated, "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. He is survived by his wife Angela, and his sons JD [and] 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 [a] huge deal to us."
Co-star Ice Cube posted on Twitter, "I’m devastated over the passing of John Witherspoon. Life won’t be as funny without him." The post was accompanied by a photo of the comical duo. The versatile actor's real son, JD Witherspoon, also posted a moving message on Twitter. He stated, "So... My dad died today and honestly I’m not sure how to feel. I’m sad, but I’m also happy for 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 and my idol. Love you, dad... I’ll miss you." He uploaded several pictures of them together from his childhood. Furthermore, Regina King, who played Witherspoons' daughter in the Friday movies, posted, "My dad, my grandpa, my comedic inspiration! I love you Spoons! Rest In Paradise, King."
Witherspoon, originally born as John Weatherspoon, was a comedy film stalwart. His role as "a crude but affectionate father trying to guide his son to be better" in the Friday films will be remembered by all. However, his career stretched across dozens of films as well as several The Wayans Bros television series. In addition to this, he voiced the grandfather in The Boondocks animated series. There is indeed no doubt that he will greatly missed not only by his friends and family, but also by the industry he cherished and helped develop.