The statement was initially released on Twitter, saying, “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”
The news of the 77-year-old’s death would be confirmed via The AP would receive a statement from Witherspoon’s manager Alex Goodman.
Witherspoon, lovingly know as Pops for playing the outspoken and hilarious elder who didn’t mind putting the younger people around him on to some game. Most notably was when he played the father of Marlon and Shawn as John “Pops” Williams in The Wayans Bros. sitcom where he owned a newsstand and a diner. The show lasted for five years from 1995-1999 but with over 100 episodes, it’s a rewatchable cult classic.
Amid the show’s first season, Witherspoon would take on a similar role as Willie Jones, the father of Ice Cube’s character in Friday, Next Friday, and Friday After Next as hilarious—yet dangerous— events occur in the neighborhood of South Central as Cube tries to come up on some fast money.
As Black Hollywood mourns the death of an iconic actor, Witherspoon’s son took to Twitter to share photos of his father and speak on what he enjoyed most about their relationship.
“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 homies more than Father & Son, and I really liked that. He was my best friend & my idol. Love U Dad…I’ll miss u,” JD Witherspoon tweeted.