"It is with deep sadness we have to tweet this, but our husband & father John Witherspoon has passed away," his family said in a statement. "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."
Witherspoon, whose career started in stand-up comedy, was best known for his role as Willie Jones, father of Ice Cube's character, Craig, in the "Friday" film franchise. Witherspoon's career, which spanned for more than five decades, also included his notable role as Pops on "The Wayans Bros" and in "Little Man."
Ice Cube and Wayans were just two of the many stars who have paid tribute to Witherspoon.
"I'm devastated over the passing of John Witherspoon," Ice Cube captioned a photo of the two. "Life won't be as funny without him."
Wayans dedicated not only one, but two Instagram posts to the late comedian.
"I'm sad. Broken. Hurt.. yet extremely grateful to God that i got to spend 5 years of my life working with one of the funniest sweetest wisest humblest loving man @johnnywitherspoon you were my tv dad and my mentor and my friend," Wayans captioned a photo of himself with Witherspoon and his brother. "I miss you already. Something don't feel right. This is heavy on my heart. Anyone that knows me knows how much i love pops. You have a strong wife and great kids. What an amazing family. Your boys damn near grew up on the #WayansBros set they'll always be like my little brothers and sons."
"i will pass on all the jewels that you bestowed on to us," he added. "Thank you God for the many many many laughs that we shared on and off the set. You got 'all the keys' and i know you got one to heaven's gate."
Wayans concluded, "Anytime i want to laugh or to see you I'm gonna put on a episode of wayans bros and laugh until i cry. I miss already.... hope your [sic] dancing in heaven with ugly white shoes on. 'Pops pops sugar pops'. #ripjohnwitherspoon #mysecondpops"
On Wednesday morning, the "White Chicks" star shared a screenshot of a video of Witherspoon.
"I was sad all night," Wayans said. "Woke up@this morning and wanted to laugh so i watched this video of us Pops. Such a good time. So glad we made this classic show together. Kinda love what we do... These episodes allow us to live forever through laughter. Love youPops. #ripjohnwitherspoon."
"No matter when they go it's always too soon," Foxx captioned a video of Witherspoon. "RIP to a real legend... You will be missed but never forgotten... @johnnywitherspoon all the love in the world to your legacy and to your family... Got real tears in my eyes on this one... But watching this clip makes me LOL".
"thanks for entertaining us for so long!" Sean captioned a selfie with Witherspoon. "The man died before he retired, real dedication. Detroit Legend! RIP John Witherspoon."