John Wesley, ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ Actor, Dies at 72

John Wesley (credit:

John Wesley, a stage, film and television actor known for playing Dr. Hoover on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has died. 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,” his manager and producer, Gerry Pass, said Sunday in a statement to Variety. “I am heartbroken to have lost a dear friend today.”

The veteran actor’s death followed a long battle with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood.

He was born John Wesley Houston in Lake Charles, Louisiana in 1947. Wesley received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego and a Bachelor of Arts Degrees from the University of San Diego, according to his website.

He served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War.

After launching an acting career, Wesley appeared on stage in plays including Lillian Hellman’s Toys in the Attic at London’s Old Globe Theatre, and Wild Oats at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.

He also had roles in more than 100 films and television shows. In addition to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Wesley appeared in Martin, the Jamie Foxx Show, Frasier, The Jeffersons, and Benson.

His film credits included Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, I Got the Hook Up, The Wood, and Always Outnumbered.

A note on his website said Wesley attributed his success to “God, good family values, as well as excellent training.”

He is survived by his wife, Jenny Houston; his mother, Hazel Baskin; daughters, Kimiko Kamiel Houston and Kinshasha Houston; stepson, Kyler Richie; siblings and grandchildren.