Photo credit: s_bukley /

The world is in mourning, as legendary actor John Witherspoon (left) has sadly passed away at the age of 77.

“It is with deep sadness we have to tweet this, but our husband and father John Witherspoon has passed away,” read a statement issued by his family.

“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 and forever.”

The Friday actor leaves behind his wife Angela, and his two sons, Alexander and JD.

The cause of death has not been revealed, although it’s been reported that the actor passed away in his sleep.

As well as being mourned by his family, countless fans and fellow A-listers have paid their respects on social media.

“My dad, my grandpa, my comedic inspiration!” Regina King wrote on Twitter.

“I love you Spoons! Rest In Paradise, King.”

Ice Cube also shared a message on Twitter…

“I’m devastated over the passing of John Witherspoon. Life won’t be as funny without him,” Ice Cube wrote.

One of John Witherspoon’s most famous roles was as Ice Cube’s grumpy dad in the 1995 movie, Friday.

Some of his other memorable films included Hollywood Shuffle, Boomerang, Vampire in Brooklyn, The Ladies Man, and Fakin’ Da Funk, as well as Friday sequels Next Friday and Friday After Next.

He also provided the unmistakable voice of Gramps on The Boondock, appeared regularly on The Late Show with David Letterman, and continued to perform as a stand-up comedian.

He was due to perform on the Stand Up Live stage next month, with tickets being promoted on social media just a few days before his death.

RIP John Witherspoon – you will never be forgotten!