John Witherspoon, veteran actor and comedian, passed away on October 29, 2019, at age 77. He is survived by his wife, Angela Robinson-Witherspoon, and their two children, Alexander and John David Witherspoon.
According to a statement released by his family, Witherspoon passed away at his home in Sherman Oaks. He is survived by a “large family.”
Here’s what you need to know about John Witherspoon’s wife and family.
1. He Was Married to His Wife for 31 Years
John married his wife, Angela, in 1988.
Best known for his role as Willie Jones in the Friday series, Witherspoon starred in a number of hit films, like Hollywood Shuffle, Boomerang, and Vampire in Brooklyn. He also voiced Gramps on The Boondocks.
Born on January 27, 1942, Witherspoon led a decades-long career. His first television appearance came in the 1970s in the CBS series Barnaby Jones, where he played a camp counselor for drug-addicted youth. He went on to land highly-esteemed roles in cult classics like House Party and Meteor Man.
Most recently on the small screen, Witherspoon played Lloyd in the series Black Jesus. He currently has one project, Bring Me the Head of Lance Henriksen, in post-production.
2. His Family Released a Statement About His Death on Tuesday
On Tuesday, Witherspoon’s family released a statement about his death to Deadline. It read, “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.”
“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 together. John used to say ‘I’m no big deal’, but he was huge deal to us.”
On Tuesday evening, John’s son, JD, took to Instagram with a post about his father that read, “So…my Dad died today & honestly I’m not sure how to feel. I’m sad, but I’m also happy 4 all the great times we had together. We’d roast each other like homies more than Father & Son, and I really loved that about us. In all seriousness I work as hard as I do thanks to seeing Him grind for literally 77 years of his life, and I’m damn proud to be his son. If I have even half the career & impact he has had on people I’ll be very happy. His legacy will live on through me, my family, his friends, and everyone else who was touched by him here on earth.
He was my best friend & my Hero.
I Love U Dad…I’ll miss u. – J.D”
3. His Son Is a Comedian and Youtuber with over 77k Followers
John’s son, JD, is an actor and comedian, known for hosting the Facebook Watch Trivia Show, “Confetti”.
His Instagram bio reads, “I do things | Stand Up Comic | runJDrun YouTube | Stupid Horse – (adultswim) | Host of Confetti – Facebook | Sugar/Toys – FUSETV | IMDB ???.”
JD’s IMDB reveals that he has worked on The Equalizer 2, Roman J. Israel Esq., and has done animated voice-over work for shows on Adult Swim. Most recently, he played runJDrun in Polaris: Player Select.
3. JD’s Birthday Video for His Father Has over 2 Million Views
For his birthday nine months ago, JD posted the video above to Facebook. To date, it has over 2 million views and has been shared over 40k times.
JD captioned the video message, “Today is my Dad’s Birthday so I thought I’d make this little video montage of all the fun times we’ve had on camera over the years. Happy Birthday Dad ?.”
At one point in the interview, the pair was asked, “If you two did a show together what would the story be about?” John responded, “It would be Sanford and Son.” JD added, “The Remake.”
4. His Wife’s First Acting Role Was Opposite Eddie Murphy
Angela, an actress, got her start in the industry in the film 48 Hours, where she held a speaking role opposite famed actor Eddie Murphy.
According to her IMDB page, Angela booked the film Crossroads not long after her role in 48 Hours. She then forayed into theater, working at the Rainbow Theater Company. For years, she starred in films like Soul Plane, The Wayans Bros, and even series like Ugly Betty, Joan of Arcadia, and 3rd Rock from the Sun. In 2013, Angela directed her first short film, Last Call. She went on to produce and direct a short documentary about artist Betye Saar.
Angela’s most recent TV role, which took place on the series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, was released last year.
5. Angela Previously Owned the Artpeace Gallery in Burbank
Angela was the previous owner of the Artpeace Art Gallery in Burbank, California.
In 2008, Angela and John attended the 2008 New Years’ Eve Party for a Cause, which was an Aids Benefit. During an interview on the carpet for the event, she explained, “I own a gallery, called Artpeace gallery in Burbank.” Angela went on to discuss some of the art housed in her gallery. She also explained that John was an art collector.
A Google search reveals that the art gallery is currently closed.