On Sunday (Sept. 8), longtime actor John Wesley passed away at age 72, CNN reports. Medical officials at Los Angeles’ Cedar Sinai Hospital state the Louisiana native endured a long battle with multiple myeloma.
“John Wesley was a gift to the world, for his kindness and grace are immortalized in his works of theatre, TV and film. I am heartbroken to have lost a dear friend today,” Wesley’s manager, Gerry Pass said in a statement published by the New York Daily News.
A graduate of the University of California, San Diego, Wesley obtained a Master’s degree in fine arts and refined his acting skills within the school’s classical acting program. Since the early 1960s, he’s appeared on the silver screen and made his way to television through pop culture staples like Martin (Mr. Jim), and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (Dr. Hoover).
Not only did Wesley make his presence known on the screen, but he was also fond of theater and appeared in a number of plays. In an interview with Indie Activity, he said being on stage allows a more intimate connection with the audience.
“The interaction with the audience gives the actor immediate reaction. But it also involves being bigger – making your character larger. It takes more to convey on stage than on film,” he said. “With film, you have to bring yourself down – not as pronounced – smaller. The camera picks up subtleties that doesn’t happen on stage.”