Actor-Comedian John Witherspoon Dies at 77

Witherspoon+played+Ice+Cube%27s+father+%22Pops%22+in+the+Friday+trilogy
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Actor-Comedian John Witherspoon Dies at 77

Witherspoon played Ice Cube's father

Witherspoon played Ice Cube's father "Pops" in the Friday trilogy

Getty Images

Witherspoon played Ice Cube's father "Pops" in the Friday trilogy

Getty Images

Getty Images

Witherspoon played Ice Cube's father "Pops" in the Friday trilogy

Raquel Perry, Reporter/Marketing Manager

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U.S. comedian and actor John Witherspoon, best known for his role as rapper Ice Cube’s father in the comedy movie Friday, has died at the age of 77 on Wednesday.

According to his manager Alex Goodman,  Witherspoon died in his Los Angeles home late Tuesday. No cause of death was released.

His family said in a statement to Deadline, “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 huge deal to us”

The family also announced Witherspoon’s death via Twitter from his official Twitter account early Wednesday.

“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,” they said.

Born John Weatherspoon, he started out as a stand-up comedian in the 1970s. He made his film debut in the 1980 The Jazz Singer and appeared in Hollywood Shuffle, Boomerang, Vampire in Brooklyn and The Ladies Man. He voiced the grandfather in the Boondocks animated series and was a frequent guest on Late Show with David Letterman. His most recognizable role was “Pops,” Ice Cube’s father in the famous comedy “Friday”.  He played a crude but affectionate father trying to guide his son to be better.

Ice Cube said in a Twitter post he was devastated by the death. “Life won’t be as funny without him,” he added.

Celebrities including Chance The Rapper, actress Jackée Harry, director Judd Apatow and Ava Dupernay paid tributes to the actor.