Ice Cube pays emotional tribute to John Witherspoon following his death aged 77

Ice Cube pays emotional tribute to John Witherspoon following his death aged 77

Rapper Ice Cube has paid tribute to the actor and comedian John Witherspoon, with whom he co-starred in the Friday series movies, after Witherspoon's death at the age of 77.

Witherspoon, who played the father of Ice Cube's character in the franchise, reportedly passed away at his home in Sherman Oaks on Tuesday, October 29. His exact cause of death has not yet been disclosed.

Sharing a picture of the two of them together on Twitter, Ice Cube wrote: "I’m devastated over the passing of John Witherspoon. Life won’t be as funny without him."

Witherspoon's family first announced the news in a statement made to Deadline, writing: "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. [sic]"

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. [sic]"

Watch this obituary to the late actor and comedian in the video below: 

Born in Detroit in 1942, Witherspoon was 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:

On social media, tributes have poured in from fans who have been left affected by the entertainer's death:

Our thoughts are with Witherpoon's friends and family during this difficult time; he will be sorely missed.