Celebrated “Friday” actor John Witherspoon died Oct. 30 at age 77, and his death certificate, released earlier this week, offers insight on what led to his passing.
Witherspoon died of a heart attack while suffering from coronary heart disease, according to the certificate obtained by People magazine. He died at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 30 at his home in Sherman Oaks, California. Obesity and high blood pressure were also listed as underlying factors in his death.
In a previously released statement, his family announced Witherspoon’s death and paid homage to his impact on the entertainment industry, which began in the 1970s.
“It is with deep sadness we have to tweet this, but our husband and father John Witherspoon has passed away,” the tweet read.
“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.
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.
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