The life and career of John Witherspoon

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Dillan Teabout, Contributor

Actor-comedian John Witherspoon died at the age of 77 last week, and his unexpected passing reminded everyone of his work. 

From being Granddad on “The Boondocks” to Ice Cube’s father on “Friday,” Witherspoon is leaving behind a legacy.

His funeral took place on Nov. 5 according to People were encouraged to wear colorful outfits to celebrate the life of the legendary actor and comedian. 

He was laid to rest at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park. 

Weatherspoon was born on Jan. 27, 1942, in Detroit, Michigan. He later changed his last name to “Witherspoon,” according to

His career in comedy began to take off in the 1960s and 1970s. He married Angela Robinson in 1988, and they had two children Alexander and John David Witherspoon.

When Ice Cube spoke during the funeral, he regarded him as the funniest person he met. He also mentioned how he watched him on television, and how he knew he wanted him to play as the father on “Friday,”according to

“Laughter is the medicine for our mind, body, and soul,” Ice Cube said. “It helps us get through this crazy world and God bless the ones who make us laugh.”

John Witherspoon and his wife opened a foundation called “Angela and John Witherspoon Family Foundation for the Arts,” which was made for young people struggling in the arts.

They are using their foundation to provide grants for people pursuing art, writing, film, acting and comedy.

They hope the grants will encourage artists to keep creating and giving back to their community. 

Witherspoon was in a total of 38 movies including “House Party,” “Boomerang,” “Friday,” “Soul Plane” and “Dr. Dolittle 2.”

He was also in many different television episodes as a star guest. “The Wayans Bros.” and “The Boondocks” were his most successful shows and everybody would remember him as the old man who was funny and very wise when someone needed advice. 

J.D. Witherspoon announced his father’s death on Twitter mentioning they were more like homies than father and son.

 Witherspoon’s son now operates Witherspoon’s twitter account and looks to keep the memories of his father alive. 

Many people showed their support at his funeral recalling all of the laughs they had with him.

They recalled him telling jokes and being the funniest man alive. Looking at old videos of him, fans would see him smiling and telling jokes.

Even after his death, he will continue to make everyone laugh through his art. 

One thing is for sure nothing lasts forever and all should cherish every single moment that they have.

“You win some, you lose some. But you live to fight another day.” – John Witherspoon, Friday.