Veteran actor John Wesley dies at 72

John Wesley
Michael Learned (left) and John Wesley starred in “Second Acts.”


John Wesley, a veteran film and TV actor known for his roles on the 1990s sitcoms “Martin” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” has died in Los Angeles.

The Louisiana native was 72.

Wesley passed away Sunday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after a lengthy battle with multiple myeloma, his manager Gerry Pass confirmed to the Daily News.

Wesley studied classical acting and earned a master degree in fine arts from the University of California in San Diego, he told Ron Brewington on “The Actor’s Choice.”

He served in the army during the Vietnam War and garnered his first credited role-playing a cop in a 1963 episode of “My Three Sons.”

Speaking to Brewington, he recalled a call-back for his first movie “Special Bulletin,” saying it was 102 degrees in Los Angeles that day and he was dressed in a three-piece suit with a tie.

“I’m hustling to get to this audition. Well, by the time I get there, I’m wringing wet with sweat,” he said.

“I walked in the room, and the first thing I said was, ‘Dayum! It’s hot!’” he said. “The whole room fell out laughing. I knew I had them.”


He said his sense of humor proved a critical asset during his lengthy career.

“That’s been my tactic over the years,” he said. “This is a really tricky place where we’re at now. Because the guys who are the guys who guard the door are still mostly White males with power. And you’ve got to get on their good side to get these jobs.”

He went on to work with major star including Sylvester Stallone in “Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot” in 1992 and Richard Pryor in the 1988 comedy flick “Moving.”

He played Dr. Hoover in an iconic episode of “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and had more than 100 film and TV credits to his name.

His stage work included roles in both “An American Clock” by Arthur Miller and “Wild Oats” at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.


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