Comedian John Witherspoon, best known to TV audiences for his role as John “Pops” Williams on The WB’s 1990s sitcom The Wayans Bros., has died at the age of 77.
Witherspoon’s family confirmed his passing on Tuesday, but did not disclose a cause of death.
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“It is with deep sadness we have to tweet this, but our husband and father John Witherspoon has passed away,” they said in a statement. “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 and forever.”
Soon after, TV sons Marlon and Shawn Wayans paid tribute to Witherspoon on Instagram, referring to their former co-star as a “mentor” and a “friend.”
In addition to The Wayans Bros., Witherspoon voiced Robert “Granddad” Freeman on The Boondocks, and co-starred on The Tracy Morgan Show, The First Family and Black Jesus. His lengthy resume, which spanned five decades, also included episodes of black-ish, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Good Times, Hill Street Blues, The Incredible Hulk, L.A. Law, Living Single, Martin, What’s Happening!! and WKRP in Cincinnati.
On the big screen, Witherspoon played Mr. Jones in the Friday trilogy. He also reunited with TV sons Shawn and Marlon Wayans in the 2006 comedy Little Man.
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