We received some shocking and hearbreaking news just before midnight on Tuesday as the family of actor and comedian John Witherspoon announced his sudden death at the age of 77 according to Deadline.

The shocking news hit social media hard overnight as hundreds of Hollywood stars sent their condolences on Whitherspoon's passing.

Born in Detroit in 1942 as John Weatherspoon, he started as a stand up comic and began acting in the late 1970's guest starring in many TV shows including "The Richard Pryor Show" where you can see a younger Witherspoon play a reporter in this sketch about "The First Black President" in 1977 at about the 2:25 mark.

Witherspoon would go on to appear in numerous scene stealing roles in movies including "The Hollywood Shuffle", "Boomerang", "Vampire in Brooklin" and "The Ladies Man" but he's best remembered by many as "Pops" in the "Friday" franchise.

Witherspoon was the voice of "Gramps" on the animated series "The Boondocks" and was set to return in that same role in an upcoming series reboot. Witherspoon was also well known on such comedy series as "The Wayans Bros., The Tracy Morgan Show, The First Family and Black Jesus.

Even up to his untimely death, Witherspoon continued to do stand up comedy dates all across the country. We lost a true legend and we send our heartfelt condolences to the Witherspoon family on their loss.

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