The Reel 360 Team will forever remember John Witherspoon in Robert Townsend’s comedic spoof, Hollywood Shuffle, playing the owner of Winky Dinky Dog rambling about “Ho Cakes” and how everyone wants a “Ho cake.”
Sad news reported by Deadline and other outlets. Actor-comedian John Witherspoon passed away today at his home. He was 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 at his home in Sherman Oaks at the age of 77,” Witherspoon’s family said in a statement to 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
Witherspoon was born in Detroit in 1942 as John Weatherspoon.
He became a stand-up comedy career and began acting in the late 1970s with guest-starring TV roles, making his feature debut in the 1980 The Jazz Singer.
Witherspoon would begin to make his mark in such African-American targeted films as the previously mentioned Hollywood Shuffle as well as Boomerang, Vampire in Brooklyn, The Ladies Man and Fakin’ Da Funk
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He would become best known for his role as Ice Cube’s grumpy uncle in the 1995 breakout hit Friday.
He also appeared in the sequels Next Friday and Friday After Next, and was expected to reprise his role in the long-gestating final installment of the franchise titled Last Friday.
The comedian also was played a vital role in the success of the Adult Swim animated series, The Boondocks as the voice of Gramps and sitcom The Wayans Bros as Pops. Witherspoon continued to perform regular and had several dates coming up at the time of his death.
Celebrities and Friends React on Twitter
Samuel L. Jackson, Ava DuVernay and Magic Johnson were among those who paid their respects to the beloved comedian on social media.
Hip-Hop will never forget the significance of John Witherspoon ?
In honor of the great comedian’s life and legacy, enjoy this clip of him in Jay-Z’s “I Just Wanna Love you” video ??pic.twitter.com/4s4pOnLlh8
— XXL Magazine (@XXL) October 30, 2019
We all lost a grandad today. Farewell to an original member of the Adult Swim family.
John Witherspoon (1942-2019) pic.twitter.com/wyXJz3zdf6
— [adult swim] (@adultswim) October 30, 2019
Rest in peace John Witherspoon.
A legend. ❤️? pic.twitter.com/4JAdLhxIbW
— Complex (@Complex) October 30, 2019
RIP to comedy giant John Witherspoon. You got your angel wings. My heart hurts for your loved ones??❤️ pic.twitter.com/mAhBMyDuz0
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) October 30, 2019
The world is a little less funny today. RIP John Witherspoon!
— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) October 30, 2019
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) October 30, 2019
The last time I saw John Witherspoon. Cookie and I really appreciated John and Angela coming to our 60th birthday celebration. I will never forget the memories we made? RIP my friend. pic.twitter.com/NDJLCxpOcw
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) October 30, 2019
We’ll say it with you one last time, John. “Winky… Dinky… Dog.”