Kevin Hart has announced his father’s death in a heartfelt tribute on his Instagram page.
The comedian posted a number of photos capturing fond memories with his father, Henry Robert Witherspoon.
“RIP to one of the realest & rawest to ever do it…Love you dad. Gone but never forgotten….Give mom a hug for me….y’all did good man,” he wrote.
“Thank you for everything….I’m a better father because of you…We will all make you proud.”
One of the images Hart uploaded shows Witherspoon wearing a breathing tube as he sits next to his son, smiling at the camera. “RIP Spoon,” said the caption.
Many of Hart’s celebrity friends gave their condolences.
“Blessings bro. Love to you and the fam,” comedian Hasan Minhaj commented.
“Oh, sorry, Kev. He wouldn’t have left you before he knew you were good,” wrote Chelsea Handler.
“So sorry Kev. Love you. Keep making them proud brother,” White Chicks actor Marlon Wayans commented.
Hart has previously admitted his relationship with his father wasn’t always good, with Witherspoon having been a cocaine addict who was not always present during Hart’s childhood.
In a 2017 appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the comedian admitted that he knows “why I am the way that I am”.
“My dad has a lot to do with that — the mistakes that my dad made, you know, the decisions to do drugs, being in and out of jail, in and out of our lives,” he said.
“I saw firsthand what not being present did and because of that, I now know what being present means. I know what that can do, I know what effect it can have on your child coming up.”
Regardless, the actor decided to put the past behind him and help his father become more involved in his life.
In his 2017 memoir I Can’t Make This Up, Hart explained that he was “in a position where I’m blessed and I can provide”.
“I can say, ‘Here, dad, here’s a home, here’s a car, here’s some money. Go spend time with your grandkids. Be the best grandpop… the days that you missed with me are the days that we missed, it’s fine, I’m okay with that’.”
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