by G. Brown
His humor made every day “Friday”. His career credits are as voluminous as any novel with TV and Movie appearances that include “Hollywood Shuffle”, “The Wayans Bros”, “The Boondocks”, “Vampire in Brooklyn” and “Boomerang”. His over the top characters made audiences laugh to the point of tears. As news of his death spreads across the internet, Witherspoon is again leaving many of us in tears.
John Witherspoon’s family posted on Twitter a very somber message confirming that the 77-year-old actor had died.
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
The family’s post to the comedian’s Twitter account said: “He was a legend in the entertainment industry and a father figure to all who watched him over years.”
A father figure who touched many hearts especially of those privileged enough to work with him. Ice Cube and Regina King joined a long list of celebrities mourning the life of the man many lovingly referred to as “Pops”…
My dad, my grandpa, my comedic inspiration! I love you Spoons! Rest In Paradise, King pic.twitter.com/U6GsNrrKXF
— Regina King (@ReginaKing) October 30, 2019
I’m devastated over the passing of John Witherspoon. Life won’t be as funny without him. pic.twitter.com/gtmiZiEppP
— Ice Cube (@icecube) October 30, 2019
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 johnwitherspoon you were my tv dad and my mentor and… https://t.co/OymyEkrFSk
— marlon wayans (@MarlonWayans) October 30, 2019
God bless John Witherspoon. The definition of an icon. Wow. pic.twitter.com/2wUBXglzSW
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) October 30, 2019
Born with the real surname Weatherspoon, the comedian made a slight variation to the stage name Witherspoon.
This beloved funnyman started his career as a serious actor with his first TV appearance on a network drama “Barnaby Jones” in 1970. But Witherspoon was a natural when it came to comedy and soon landed roles on hit sitcoms like “Good Times” and “What’s Happening”. In 1977 he became a series regular on “The Richard Pryor Show” which though shortlived gave Witherspoon major exposure and opened the doors to a steady stream of opportunities.
In his later years, Witherspoon reached a whole generation of young fans through voice work on animated shows like “The Proud Family” and “The Boondocks”. In 2003, the well-known comedian surprised many by competing on NBC’s reality competition “Last Comic Standing”. At the end of the season, Witherspoon was the last comic standing and inked a contract.
His death was Twitter’s trending topics under hashtags like #Bang, Bang Bang”–a tribute to one of his funniest bits from the film “Boomerang” with Eddie Murphy.
Recalling some of their favorite lines from the funnyman prompted one fan to compile a wonderful video of some of the best of Witherspoon.
Witherspoon reportedly died at his Sherman Oaks, California home Tuesday. The cause of death has not been released as of this writing.
TRN extends our deepest condolences to the Witherspoon family, friends and fans.
Rest in paradise John Witherspoon.