Actor and comedian John Witherspoon, best known for his work in the Friday film series, has died at the age of 77.
“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 (October 30th) at his home in Sherman Oaks at the age of 77,” Witherspoon’s family said in a statement (via Deadline). “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.”
A cause of death was not immediately clear, but Witherspoon is said to have died “suddenly.”
Witherspoon is perhaps best known for playing Willie Jones, the father of Ice Cube’s character Craig Jones, in the 1995 stoner comedy Friday and its two subsequent sequels. Additionally, he voiced the character Granddad in the animated series The Boondocks, and played “Pops” on The Wayan Bros. for five seasons.
Witherspoon also appeared in several notable music videos, including Jay-Z’s “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)”, LL Cool J’s “Ain’t Nobody”, and Goodie Mob’s “They Don’t Dance No More”.