The Wayans family is grieving the loss of their patriarch, Howell Wayans, who died on March 31 at the age of 86. His cause of death hasn’t been revealed. Marlon, one of the youngest of the Howell’s 10 children, penned a heartfelt message to his father on social media.
“When I was a child I asked my Dad what did you want to be when [you] grew up?” he wrote in an Instagram caption under a picture of him and his father lovingly embracing one another.
“He simply said ‘I wanted to be a man’
I said ‘not a lawyer? A doctor? An actor?’
He said ‘just a man’
I said ‘but every boy becomes a man’
Dad said ‘Not true’
I asked ‘then what’s a man?’
My Dad said ‘A man takes care of himself and his responsibilities. His family is always FIRST.’
From that day on I wanted to be a MAN.”
The Wayans matriarch, Elvira died in 2020 at 81. She was a homemaker, as well as a singer at one time and a social worker. Howell was a supermarket manager when his brood was growing up. Aside from Marlon, Keenen, Damon, Kim and Dwayne were some of the other Wayans children of the deceased parents who rose to fame.
In his tribute to his father, the comedian continued, “Thank you Pop for being an example of a Man to all your boys. I pray all young black boys can grow up to be a Man like you. Baby boy loves you. And if ever I need you I know exactly where to find you… in my Bible that now sits by bed. Rest well. Kiss Ma for me. Tell her her babies miss her. I got two angels. I feel y’all lifting me already. If there’s a heaven I know you sitting in VIP sippin’ the best wine Jesus can make…”
Wayans, 50, is now grieving both of his parents, which he revealed is difficult in an interview with Good Morning America.
“In my life right now, I have so much stuff that can be depressing. I lost my mom recently, I lost my dad three days ago. I realize that the only thing that saves me is the stage,” he said during the interview. “Because when I’m hurting, those laughs that I hear from other people healing from my pain, I realize my purpose. And I think it’s important for all of us to do what comedians do, which is look at this world, look at this life, and always try to spend your life trying to find smiles. And that’s what I do on the stage.””
Elvira’s passing was also heartbreaking for the actor. In an Instagram tribute, he described her as the love of his life and birthday twin, since the mother and son shared the same birthday. The reason for her death is also unknown. He said in an interview with ESSENCE in 2021 that he never married because of his love for his mother.
“I never got married because I knew my mom needed me. Women sometimes want to battle for your attention, they want to battle for your love, they want to be the one. Me and my mama share the same birthday. I’m not trying to hear you,” he said. “I like things to bend and not break, and I feel like when you get married, you have to get divorced in order to either be separated or together,” he added. “I like friendships because you just learn each other and you just grow and you just get better.”
One of Marlon’s most recent films is the title, Air, in which he plays George Raveling, one of Michael Jordan’s coaches at the 1984 Olympics. The movie is about how Nike signed the basketball player to his historic shoe deal.