Hollywood celebrities and entertainers, in general, are beginning to pay tributes to the late comedy great, John Witherspoon, a few hours after his death was announced by his family.
Some of the emotional tributes came from celebrities and those he had worked with, such as Ice Cube, Regina King, Marlon Wayans, Big Sean, Jamie Foxx, Jay Pharoah and many more.
The Detroit-born comedian, known for his role as Willie Jones in the “Friday” films, died in Los Angeles on Tuesday, at the age of 77, his family had said.
The Witherspoon’s family revealed in a statement posted on his social media accounts that the star had passed away.
“It is with deep sadness we have to tweet this, but our husband & father John Witherspoon has passed away,” the tweet read, which was accompanied by a photo of Witherspoon smiling widely.
“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 statement concluded.
He is survived by his wife Angela, whom he married in 1988, and his sons Alexander and John David Witherspoon
See some of the tributes shared by his friends on social media:
“I’m devastated over the passing of John Witherspoon,” wrote Ice Cube above a photo with Witherspoon. “Life won’t be as funny without him.”
“My dad, my grandpa, my comedic inspiration! I love you Spoons! Rest In Paradise,” wrote Regina King, who co-starred with Witherspoon on the animated series The Boondocks. She played siblings Huey and Riley on the show, while Witherspoon voiced their grandfather and legal guardian.
“No matter when they go it’s always too soon… RIP to a real legend… You will be missed but never forgotten… @johnnywitherspoon all the love in the world to your legacy and your family… Got real tears in my eyes on this one… But watching this clip makes me LOL 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾” Jamie Foxx wrote with a video on his Instagram page.
“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,” Marlon Wayans wrote. “You were my tv dad and my mentor and my friend. I miss you already.”
“Thanks for entertaining us for so long! The man died before he retired, real dedication. Detroit Legend! RIP John Witherspoon 🙏🏾” Rapper Big Sean wrote.
“We lost a real one today,” wrote Saturday Night Live alum Jay Pharoah who was thankful to Witherspoon for “our conversations and the wisdom you gave me as a young comic,” he said.
John David also spoke out about his dad’s death, sharing a series of sweet childhood memories on Twitter.
“So… my Dad died today & honestly I’m not sure how to feel. I’m sad, but I’m also happy 4 all the great times we had together. We’d roast each other like homes more than Father & Son, and I really liked that. He was my best friend & idol,” John David expressed.
“Love U Dad… I’ll miss u,” he added.