It could very well be an understatement to call “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” an instant classic when it aired for the first time in 1990. Will Smith was already incredibly popular due to his rap career, and breaking into a leading man role happened effortlessly. Smith played a fictionalized version of himself — a wise-cracking, rough-around-the-edges (but good-at-heart) teenager who relocated from the streets of Philly to the cushy swank of Bel Air.
The show ran for 6 seasons and drew in legions of fans, establishing itself as part of the cultural zeitgeist. But it wasn’t just Will Smith who viewers tuned in to see. The show’s ensemble cast and recurring characters were beloved across the board. Whether it was Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton or DJ Jazzy Jeff’s special appearances, the show delivered memorable character after memorable character.
Fans of ‘Fresh Prince’ will certainly remember Dr. Hoover played by John Wesley. He tickled the memory of viewers because of his work in dozens of films and television shows, working alongside legendary actors such as Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Clint Eastwood and more. He was featured in roles on “The Jaime Foxx Show,” “Frasier,” “Martin” and others.
Before he became an actor, the Lousiana-born Wesley was a soldier in the US Army where he served in the Vietnam War before receiving an honorable discharge.
Unfortunately, on Sunday, September 8, 2019, John Wesley passed away at the age of 72. Wesley suffered from complications relating to multiple myeloma, a rare type of cancer that forms in white blood cells in the bone marrow.
Wesley battled the rare cancer for a long time according to those close to him. His condition was never made public due to his wishes for privacy. John Wesley was survived by his wife Jenny Houston, his mother Mazel Baskin, two daughters, nine siblings and seven grandchildren.