John Witherspoon, The Legendary "Friday" Actor And Comedian Passes Away At The Age Of 77

John Witherspoon, The Legendary "Friday" Actor And Comedian Passes Away At The Age Of 77

John Witherspoon began his career in the late 1970s and carried on with his passion till the very end of his life.

The 1995 movie Friday remains one of the most hilarious movies ever made. While it may have been years since its release, nobody can forget the grumpy dad, Willie Jones who made us laugh out loud. John Witherspoon, the one who gave birth to this character, passed away, breaking the hearts of many.

According to CBS Local, the legendary actor passed away in his home in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles on 29 October, 2019. The family confirmed the death of the 77-year-old through a Twitter post that appeared on his account. "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," wrote the family on Twitter.

The news was further confirmed by his manager, Alex Goodman. He told the NBC News, "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 added, "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."


His son J.D. Witherspoon shared his grief on social media and posted several pictures of the two together. He wrote, "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."


Weatherspoon launched his stand-up and comedy career with varied guest-starring TV roles in the late 1970s. He made his debut in the movie The Jazz Singer and then went on to star in numerous movies such as Boomerang, Vampire in Brooklyn, The Meteor Man and Hollywood Shuffle. He also appeared in the sequels Next Friday, Friday After Next. Apart from acting, the star has also voiced Gramps on the cult animated series The Boondocks.


Though he was busy with a successful acting career on TV and movies, Witherspoon never let go of his comedy. It remained a part of his life until the very end. He had several stand up shows lined up when he passed away unexpectedly.