Hollywood is mourning the loss of a legend. John Witherspoon, best known for his role of Willie Jones in the Friday series, has sadly died at the age of 77 on Tuesday, October 29. The beloved star’s family shared the heartbreaking news in a message shared to his personal Twitter page following his passing.
“It is with deep sadness we have to tweet this, but our husband and father John Witherspoon has passed away,” his family wrote in the tweet. “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 and forever.” John’s family has yet to share his cause of death.
The iconic comedian — who also starred in Little Man, Vampire in Brooklyn and Dr. Doolittle 2, among many more films — is survived by his longtime wife, Angela Robinson-Witherspoon, as well as their two sons, J.D. and Alexander. After sharing news of his death, John’s son J.D. reacted to his father’s passing in a tweet shared to his own account.
“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,” the loving son gushed. “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 u. – J.D.” Aww!
Close pals and fellow celebrities flooded The Boondocks actor’s Twitter feed with messages of love and encouragement for his mourning family. “My dad, my grandpa, my comedic inspiration!” Regina King tweeted. “I love you Spoons! Rest In Paradise, King.” Leslie Jones also reacted, writing, “I’m so sad, I loved pops!! RIP to one of the greats — [I] will miss you, John Witherspoon. Damn I’m sad.”
Before his death, John — who also appeared on The Wayan Bros. and The Tracy Morgan Show for a number of years — was reportedly set to reprise his role as Willie Jones in Ice Cube’s next Friday film, Last Friday. However, Rolling Stone reported that the project had yet to begin filming before his tragic passing. John’s longtime pal said he was “devastated” over the loss of John and that “life won’t be as funny without him,” Ice Cube wrote on Twitter.
Our hearts are with John’s family during this difficult time!