Anthony Johnson, ‘Friday’ Star and Comedian, Dead at 55

by Leanne Stahulak

Anthony “A.J.” Johnson, known for his iconic role as Ezal in the 1995 film “Friday,” died this month at the age of 55.

According to TMZ, the actor’s nephew old the outlet 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 has been revealed at this time.

Anthony Johnson’s agent, LyNea Bell, released a statement to CNN and several other outlets earlier today.

“The world of Comedy has truly been shaken, again. Our BH Talent family is heartbroken about the loss of the iconic legend of stage and screen Mr. Anthony ‘AJ’ Johnson,” Bell said. “He has left with us amazing memories of his laughter, dynamic acting skills, but most of all his enormous personality and heart of gold.”

She also said, “We are praying for all those that were touched by his comedy, acting, but most of all his life. We are especially praying for his beloved wife, children, siblings, and manager. Please give them the time they need to process and grieve such a huge loss.”

Though Anthony Johnson’s most iconic role was as Ezal in “Friday,” he also starred in “House Party,” “Lethal Weapon 3,” “The Players Club” and “B.A.P.S.” He made TV appearances on “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Malcolm & Eddie,” and “The Jamie Foxx Show.” And he also performed several stand-up comedy routines in and around L.A. during the 1990s.

Per “People”, Johnson just completed several works right before his death. He’ll be in the TV movie “The Way Men Think” as well as “I Want It All” and “Caught Up In.”

When the news broke about his death, several people took to social media to mourn the legendary comedian and actor.

Fans and Former Co-Stars Mourn the Death of Comedian Anthony Johnson

Ice Cube, who starred with Anthony Johnson in the 1995 film “Friday,” mourned the late actor with a tribute on Twitter.

“Sad to wake up to the news about AJ Johnson passing away. Naturally funny dude who was straight outta Compton at the same time. Sorry I couldn’t bring your character Ezal back to the big screen in Last Friday…” Ice Cube wrote.

Others remembered Johnson’s most iconic lines and roles in different films.

“RIP Anthony Johnson. He had more quotable lines in one movie than a lot of people’s careers,” Tweeted Derek Dukes.

“By far one of my favorite movies of all time, and it wouldn’t have been as legendary as it is without #AnthonyJohnson and this scene. Prayers being lifted up for you man. #RIPEzal,” Twitter user B.P. Cox said.

Podcast creator Ron Carthen wrote, “When you watched Black Movies, Stand-Ups and Black Sitcoms in the 90s and some films in the early 2000s, Anthony Johnson was there. He understood the assignment of his supporting roles and made sure you laughed each time. You will be missed AJ #RIP.”