John Wesley, the actor who played Dr. Hoover on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, has died from complications due to a long battle with multiple myeloma, his family confirmed Sunday to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 72.
“John Wesley was a gift to the world, for his kindness and grace are immortalized in his works of theatre, TV and film,” Wesley’s manager and producer, Gerry Pass, said in a statement. “I am heartbroken to have lost a dear friend today.”
Wesley, a native of Louisiana, held degrees from the University of California, San Diego and the University of San Diego. Prior to making a name for himself in Hollywood, he served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.
After his acting career took off, though, Wesley went on to work with the likes of Denzel Washington, Barbra Streisand and Morgan Freeman, among other notable stars. While he was best known for his work on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Wesley had more than 100 film and television credits, including Big Fish, Frasier, The Jeffersons and Benson.
Wesley was also a theater vet, having acted in such plays as Lillian Hellman’s Toys in the Attic at London’s Old Globe Theatre, as well as An American Clock by Arthur Miller and Wild Oats at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.
Wesley is survived by his wife, Jenny Houston; his mother, Hazel Baskin; his daughters, Kimiko Kamiel Houston and Kinshasha Houston; stepson, Kyler Richie; siblings; and grandchildren.