The beloved actor suffered from coronary artery disease before his death


Beloved actor John Witherspoon died of a heart attack while suffering from coronary artery disease, according to his death certificate.

The death certificate also names obesity and hypertension as underlying causes for his death, PEOPLE confirms. Witherspoon died on October 30 at 5:30 p.m. local L.A. time, according to the certificate. He was 77.

Witherspoon’s family first revealed the news in a statement posted on his Twitter account the same day. He died at his Home in Sherman Oaks, California.

“It is with deep sadness we have to tweet this, but our husband and father John Witherspoon has passed away,” the tweet read.

“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,” the statement concluded.

His family further opened up to Deadline after the announcement, saying, “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.”

John Witherspoon
John Witherspoon
| Credit: Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Witherspoon is survived by his wife Angela, whom he married in 1988, and his sons Alexander and John David Witherspoon.

John David spoke out about his dad’s death, sharing a series of sweet childhood memories on Twitter.

“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 homes more than Father & Son, and I really liked that. He was my best friend & idol,” John David expressed.

“Love U Dad… I’ll miss u,” he added.

Following the news a number of celebrities, including Witherspoon’s former costars mourned his death on Twitter.

My dad, my grandpa, my comedic inspiration! I love you Spoons! Rest In Paradise, King,” Regina King, who played both Huey and Riley Freeman on The Boondocks, wrote.

Judd Apatow also paid tribute to Witherspoon, writing, “Pure funny. Hilarious and always kind. John Witherspoon will be missed.”