Anthony Johnson, known for his energetic performances in Friday and House Party, has passed away at 55. Johnson’s death occurred a month earlier, according to TMZ. In an exclusive statement, Johnson’s nephew told TMZ that “A.J. was found lifeless in a store earlier this month in Los Angeles and rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.” No cause of death is currently released to the public. Authorities have not made a statement as of yet.
Johnson Played a Part in Many Classic ’90s Comedies
Anthony Johnson was born in Compton, California, where he began doing the standup circuit and acting in his early ’20s. His breakout role was E.Z.E. in the 1990 comedy House Party. After landing some smaller roles in more dramatic films like Lethal Weapon 3 and Menace 2 Society, Johnson had a career-defining turn as Ezal in Ice Cube’s comedy film Friday. Ezal was a very memorable character, consistently trying to hustle people with cheap schemes. His energetic performance and fun delivery made Anthony Johnson a fan favorite.
Though he never had a true breakout starring role, Johnson would go on to appear in many classic ’90s comedies. Indeed, the actor logged memorable performances in B.A.P.S., Def Jam’s How to Be a Player, and even starred alongside Master P in I Got The Hook Up.
Fans Mourn Anthony Johnson’s Death
As of Monday on Twitter, Johnson is trending. Fans mourn Anthony Johnson’s death, sharing clips of his funniest lines and opining that he was an underrated icon. DL Hughley, The Trillbillies, and Robert Griffin III were among many to pay tribute to the late actor. “Prayers up for Anthony Johnson aka Ezal from Friday. RIP brother,” stated Griffen III.
In addition to acting, Anthony Johnson did standup. One of his most famous bits performed on Def Comedy Jam can be found here on Youtube.