FILE PHOTO: Actor John Witherspoon poses at the premiere of his new comedy film “Little Man” in Los Angeles July 7, 2006. The film opens in the U.S. July 14. REUTERS/Fred Prouser//File Photo
(Reuters) – Actor John Witherspoon, who starred alongside rapper Ice Cube in the hit “Friday” comedy movie franchise, died on Tuesday at the age of 77, his family said.
“We love you “POPS” always and forever,” his family said on his Twitter account, referring to another of his roles – John ‘Pops’ Williams on the long-running sitcom The Wayans Bros.
“He was a Legend in the entertainment industry, and a father figure to all who watched him over the years,” the posting added.
Celebrities including Chance The Rapper, actress Jackée Harry and director Judd Apatow went online to pay tribute to the Detroit, Michigan-born actor and comedian.
“My dad, my grandpa, my comedic inspiration! I love you Spoons! Rest In Paradise, King,” Academy Award-winning actress Regina King tweeted.
Witherspoon was best known for his recurring role as Ice Cube’s father in the comedy trilogy “Friday,” “Next Friday” and “Friday After Next” movies.
Witherspoon’s manager and family could not be reached for further comment. There were no immediate details on the cause of his death.
Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Heavens