John Witherspoon from 'Friday' Reportedly Suffered from Coronary Artery Disease before Fatal Heart Attack at 77
John Witherspoon was reportedly suffering from several heart-related ailments, including coronary artery disease, before the fatal heart attack that took his life two weeks ago. The information was revealed in the actor’s recently issued death certificate.
Celebrity news site TMZ has obtained the document stating that Witherspoon had been battling Coronary Artery Disease and hypertension for a while.
The outlet noted that, although hypertension was not a direct cause of the late actor’s heart attack, it did nothing to help his chances of survival. The site also obtained audio of a dispatcher that attended to Witherspoon.
The dispatcher initially requested rescue for Witherspoon, describing him as an unconscious man under cardiac arrest and revealing that CPR was in progress. The dispatcher eventually canceled the rescue after pronouncing the beloved comedian dead.
AN ICON EXITS
"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," they wrote.
It is with deep sadness we have to tweet this, but our husband & father John Witherspoon has passed away. 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.— John Witherspoon (@John_POPS_Spoon) October 30, 2019
- The Witherspoon Family pic.twitter.com/ov9P34kaMn
A FAMILY MAN
The statement added:
"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 [a] huge deal to us."
THE WITHERSPOON MARK
During a career that spanned decades, Witherspoon garnered scores of TV and film credits. The Detroit-born entertainer was, however, most known for his roles in films like the "Friday" installments, "Boomerang," "House Party," and "I’m Gonna Get You Sucka."
From 1995 to 1999, Witherspoon also starred as Pops on "The Wayans Bros." and from 2005 to 2014, he voiced Gramps on the animated series "The Boondocks."
The world has lost a true comedy legend and all around genuine soul, who paved the way for so many of us to be able to do what we love. My deepest condolences to John’s family. I know he’s already up there makin everyone laugh 🙏🏾 #rip #comedy #legend #JohnWitherspoon pic.twitter.com/mKzXUGK8Uw— Martin Lawrence (@realmartymar) October 30, 2019
TRIBUTES FOR A LEGEND
In the days after his death, fans and celebrities across the world paid tribute to Witherspoon’s memory on social media.
Colleagues like Ice Cube, Regina King, Marlon Wayans, Samuel L. Jackson, and many more led the train of tributes to a man who spent over four decades making people laugh with his gift.
Witherspoon's son, JD, who is following in his dad’s footsteps as an entertainer, also revealed just how much the man meant to him.
"My Dad died today & honestly, I’m not sure how to feel," the YouTube star wrote alongside photos of the duo together over the years. "I’m sad, but I’m also happy 4 all the great times we had together."
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People really love my Dad, and that was shown by all the guests who attended his service. He would think fans only loved him because of the characters he played, but I knew it was always him they loved. He was such a hard working guy, and a professional at the craft, so much so that he would make you want to work harder & bring your game up to the next level. Honestly I thought he would live forever because of his attitude and outlook on life. The determination he had to make the most out of every opportunity given to him was inspiring, and should make us all want to strive for more. At the end of the day he did exactly what he was put on this earth to do...confidently & unapologetically live life to the fullest. Thank u Dad 💔
A BEFITTING GOODBYE
"We’d roast each other like homies more than Father & Son, and I really liked that," JD continued in a social media post. "He was my best friend & my idol. Love U Dad. I’ll miss u."
On Tuesday, November 5, Witherspoon was laid to rest at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles. The versatile entertainer was also honored with a star-studded funeral service attended by famous faces like Chris Tucker, Ice Cube, David Letterman, and Cedric the Entertainer.
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