‘Friday’ star Anthony Johnson dead at 55

'Friday' star Anthony Johnson dead at 55
Comedian Anthony Johnson (Image source: Instagram – @therealajjohnson)

Comedian Anthony “AJ” Johnson, who was best known for his breakout roles in the ’90s comedy classics Friday and House Party, has died. He was 55.

Johnson was found unconscious in a Los Angeles store in early September 2021 and first responders rushed him to a local hospital, according to TMZ. Neither the outlet nor Johnson’s family has disclosed the cause of death.

Johnson was born in Compton, California, a southern suburb of Los Angeles which is famous for its crime and gangs. He was introduced to the entertainment business by his father who was a stuntman and founder of the Black Stuntmen’s Association.

The popular comedian went national after he made hilarious appearances in the 1990 film House Party and as the pesky deadbeat in 1995’s Friday opposite Ice Cube and Chris Tucker. Johnson also played a major role as the antagonist and drug lord in the 1995 film Panther, which was centered around the founding of the revolutionary group, the Black Panther Party. Older fans will recall that Johnson famously played Eazy-E in the timeless Dr. Dre video “Dre Day” from the groundbreaking album The Chronic. 

After Johnson broke out as a talent, he began touring around the country and eventually appeared in over 50 films and TV shows, such as the seminal Menace II Society and Players Club, as well as BAPS, I Got the Hook Up,  “Moesha,” “Martin,” “Malcolm & Eddie,” “The Players Club,”  “I Got the Hook Up” and Lethal Weapon III. 

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