“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 & forever,” the statement concluded.
Actor-comedian John Witherspoon’s diverse credits include “The First Family,” “The Boondocks” and the “Friday” film franchise.
He starred in roles on television and film as early as 1978, in fan favorites including “Good Times” and “Hollywood Shuffle.” However, it was his role in 1992’s “Boomerang” that most fans would begin to recognize Witherspoon’s signature form of comedy. In the Eddie Murphy vehicle, he put on a scene-stealing performance in which he coined his ubiquitous catchphrase “You got to coordinate.” He would go on to attract younger fans as “Granddad” in the animated series “The Boondocks” and as “Pops” in “The Wayans Bros.”
On Twitter, his “Boondocks” costar Regina King, who played the roles of Huey and Riley Freeman, shared her condolences.
"My dad, my grandpa, my comedic inspiration! I love you Spoons! Rest In Paradise, King," Regina King wrote.
At the time of his death, Witherspoon was slated to reprise his role of "Willie" in a sequel to "Friday." He had also filmed parts for "Reality Queen" and "I Got the Hookup 2," according to comedy website The Laugh Button.
Witherspoon is survived by his wife Angela, whom he married in 1988, and his sons Alexander and John David Witherspoon.