'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' star John Wesley dies at 72 after long battle with cancer

He served in the US Army during the Vietnam war and was honorably discharged prior to his career as an actor. 


                            'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' star John Wesley dies at 72 after long battle with cancer

Actor John Wesley, known for starring in films such as 'Stop', 'Or My Mom Will Shoot', and 'Martin', has died at age 72. According to his family, he succumbed to complications from a long battle with multiple myeloma.

Wesley had worked with several Hollywood A-listers, including Albert Finney, Robert Guillaume, Barbra Streisand, Denzel Washington, James Earl Jones, Michael Apted, James Spader, Tim Burton, and even the legendary Morgan Freeman, Deadline reports.

The veteran actor won an Atlas Award for the Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Lillian Hellman’s Toys in the Attic at the Old Globe Theatre.

Wesley's last short film Second Acts - created and produced by Gerry Pass and directed by Anya Adams - saw him receive an award for Best Actor in A Dramatic Short from the Hollywood Women’s Film Festival. (IMDb)

Furthermore, he mounted several productions as the Artistic and Producing Director of The Southern California Black Repertory Company, including Athol Fugard’s Sizwe Banzi Is Dead and The Island, which toured for three years. 

His productions led to an invitation to perform at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, where he starred in 'Coriolanus', 'Richard 2', 'Two Gentlemen of Verona', and an adaption of 'Twelfth Night.'

Wesley was bestowed with several other accolades, including a critically acclaimed production of Oyamo’s 'I Am A Man', which won an LA Weekly Award for Best Ensemble, as well as a Dramalogue Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Wesley was most recently involved with a production of 'Stick Fly', which won the Los Angeles Ovation Award for Best Ensemble. That said, his film resume includes blockbusters 'Missing in Action', 'Big Fish', 'The Wood', and 'Thirteenth Child.'

Meanwhile, his TV resume includes appearances on 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air', 'Frasier', 'The Jefferson's', 'Benson', as well as the recurring character 'Willie' on the Jamie Foxx show. He has also appeared on several episodes of 'Hill Street Blues', 'JAG', and 'In the Heat of the Night.'

Chuck Norris, Cosie Costa, and John Wesley in Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (1985). (IMDb)

Wesley's last short film 'Second Acts' - created and produced by Gerry Pass and directed by Anya Adams - saw him receive an award for best actor in 'A Dramatic Short' from the Hollywood Women’s Film Festival.

The seasoned actor had served in the United States Army during the Vietnam war and was honorably discharged prior to his career as an actor. 

Moreover, Wesley received his Bachelor of Arts Degrees from the University of San Diego, where he also majored in Political Science. He later graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a Master of Fine Arts degree.

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