If you see #RIPPops trending on Twitter, it’s because John Witherspoon, best known for playing Ice Cube’s grumpy dad in the “Friday” movies, died suddenly at his home Tuesday. He was 77.
He launched 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 appeared in numerous films, including “Hollywood Shuffle”, “Boomerang”, “Vampire in Brooklyn”, “I’m Gonna Get You Sucka”, “Bird” and “The Meteor Man”.
Witherspoon also voiced Gramps on the cult animated series “The Boondocks”. He likely would’ve returned for the series’ upcoming revival on HBO Max. Also known for his role as Pops on “The Wayans Brothers”, Witherspoon did stints on such comedy series as “The Tracy Morgan Show”, “The First Family” and “Black Jesus”.
He was still doing stand-up comedy gigs all over and had several dates coming up at the time of his death.