The Boondocks and Friday actor John Witherspoon, dies age 77

Tributes have been paid to the late star by Ice Cube, Marlon Wayans, Chance The Rapper, and more.

October 30, 2019
<I>The Boondocks</i> and <I>Friday</i> actor John Witherspoon, dies age 77 John Witherspoon pictured at the The Great Western Fourm in Inglewood, California June 9, 2004.   Steve Grayson/WireImage

Actor and comedian John Witherspoon, known for his roles in Friday and House Party among others, died on Tuesday. He was 77.


“It is with deep sadness we have to tweet this, but our husband & father John Witherspoon has passed away,” his family announced on Twitter. “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.”

Witherspoon was a beloved comedy actor and played the role of Ice Cube's father in all three movies in the Friday trilogy. He also regularly collaborated with the Eddie Murphy (Boomerang, Dr. Doolittle 2) and the Wayans brothers.

Later in his career Witherspoon voiced Robert “Granddad” Freeman in the popular Cartoon Network series, The Boondocks. The animated series ran for over nine seasons and was recently revived for two new seasons by HBO Max.

Tributes to Witherspoon have poured in on social media since news of his death broke on Tuesday.

View this post on Instagram

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. Something don’t feel right. This is heavy on my heart. Anyone that knows me knows how much i love pops. You have a strong wife and great kids. What an amazing family. Your boys damn near grew up on the #WayansBros set they’ll always be like my little brothers and sons. i will pass on all the jewels that you bestowed on to us. Thank you God for the many many many laughs that we shared on and off the set. You got “all the keys 🔑 “ and i know you got one to heaven’s gate. Anytime i want to laugh or to see you I’m gonna put on a episode of wayans bros and laugh until i cry. I miss already.... hope your dancing in heaven with ugly white shoes on. “Pops pops sugar pops”. #ripjohnwitherspoon #mysecondpops

A post shared by Marlon Wayans (@marlonwayans) on


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The Boondocks and Friday actor John Witherspoon, dies age 77