Actor and comedian John Witherspoon dead at 77
John Witherspoon, the actor-comedian best known for the hit Friday franchise and The Wayan Brothers, has passed away. He was 77.
According to Deadline, the actor died suddenly at his home on Tuesday, his family said. "It is with the 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. 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 a huge deal to us."
Witherspoon is survived by his wife, two sons and "a large family," the statement said. Born in Detroit, Michigan, Witherspoon kicked off his career as a stand-up comedian and made his television debut in the 1970s, appearing in shows including the detective series "Barnaby Jones." He was, arguably, best known for playing Ice Cube's dad in the "Friday," film series. The 1995 comedy and its sequels, "Next Friday" and "Friday After Next," chronicle the trials of a man as he tries to make it through the day. "I'm devastated over the passing of John Witherspoon," Ice Cube wrote on Twitter. "Life won't be as funny without him."