Actor and comedian John Witherspoon dies at the age of 77

Actor and comedian John Witherspoon dies at the age of 77

Actor and comedian John Witherspoon, famous for appearing in Vampire In Brooklyn, Hollywood Shuffle, Boomerang, and The Boondocks has died at the age of 77.

The star of the Friday series of movies, where he played the father of Ice Cube's character, allegedly passed away at his home in Sherman Oaks on Tuesday, October 29. His exact cause of death has not yet been disclosed.

In an official statement issued to Deadline, the celebrity's family wrote: "It is with 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."

They added: "He is survived by his wife Angela, and his sons JD, Alexander, and a large family. 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."

On social media, the news of Witherspoon's death was met with an outpouring of condolences and tributes from Twitter-users.

Born in Detroit in 1942, Witherspoon one of 11 siblings. He made his feature film debut in 1980 in The Jazz Singer, later appearing in films like Vampire In Brooklyn, Hollywood Shuffle, Boomerang, I'm Gonna Get Your Sucka, Soul Plane, and The Meteor Man. He later became known to younger generations as the voice of the character of Robert "Granddad" Freeman in the animated TV series The Boondocks.

American comedian and actor Roy Wood Jr. also expressed just how much Witherspoon meant to him in a series of emotional tweets:

Not only that, but he was also featured in Chance The Rapper's album 'The Big Day' on the skit track 'Photo Ops,' and made a number of cameos  in music videos like Jay-Z's 'I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)' as well as Field Mob's 'Sick Of Being Lonely.'

Our thoughts are with Witherpoons friends and family. It's clear that he will be sorely missed.