Fans, friends and family are mourning the death of comedian and actor John Witherspoon, who died Tuesday in California at age 77.
Witherspoon played Willie Jones in the comedy Friday, but also had memorable performances on “The Tracy Morgan Show,” “The Boondocks,” and “The Wayans Brothers,” when he played Pops, a role that many identify closely with the comedian.
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
Witherspoon’s eldest son, J.D., has announced he’ll be running his dad’s social media accounts from now on. J.D. is also a stand-up comedian who hosts “Confetti” on Facebook Live.
“I’m damn proud to be his son. If I have even half the career & impact he has had on people I’ll be very happy,” J.D. wrote on Instagram.
Ice Cube said he was “devastated over the passing of John Witherspoon,” adding that “Life won’t be as funny without him.”
Chance the Rapper wrote “God bless John Witherspoon. The definition of an icon. Wow.”
Arsenio Hall also paid tribute to Witherspoon, calling him a “comic brother.”
RIP John Witherspoon 🙏pic.twitter.com/eMmZiW0Xnl
— Genius (@Genius) October 30, 2019
Actor Marlon Wayans posted a message on his Instagram about Witherspoon, along with a picture of him, Shawn and Witherspoon.
Part of it read:
“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.”