Anthony Johnson, also known as A.J. Johnson, is reportedly dead according to still unconfirmed reports. Johnson was known for making comedic turns in a number of hit films and televisions shows, drawing on his Southern Californian roots.
Johnson was born May 5, 1965, and raised in Compton, Calif. Although he got his start in 1982, it wasn’t until the 1990’s hit House Party and his role as E.Z.E. that folks began to take notice of Johnson’s presence on camera. Johnson also brought that same comedic flair to the role of Ezal in the 1995 classic, Friday, starring Ice Cube and Chris Tucker.
From there, Johnson was a fixture in television and films, including hit shows such as Martin with fellow standup comic Martin Lawrence, and appearances on The Jamie Foxx Show as well. Johnson continued to work in standup comedy over the years and was still active as an actor well into the 21st Century with roles in the sequel to Master P’s I Got The Hook Up 2 along with other credited roles down the pipeline.
Details of Johnson’s passing are scant and still developing. NewsOne reports that a GoFundMe has been started to cover his funeral expenses. We’ll return to update this post once we learn more.
UPDATE: According to a report from TMZ, Johnson was 55 at the time of his passing. The outlet has learned that Johnson’s nephew found his uncle unresponsive inside a Los Angeles store earlier in September where Johnson was then rushed to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead. The cause of death is still unknown.
Unfortunately, Johnson is only the latest cast member of Friday to leave us far too soon. Rest powerfully in PEACE, Anthony “A.J.” Johnson, and thank you for the laughs and memories.