Anthony Johnson (actor)

Anthony Johnson
Born(1966-02-01)February 1, 1966
Compton, California, U.S.
DiedSeptember 6, 2021(2021-09-06) (aged 55)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
MediumStand-up, film, television
Years active1982–2019
GenresComedy, observational comedy, satire, improvisational comedy, blue comedy
SpouseLexis Jones Mason

Anthony Johnson (February 1, 1966[1] – September 6, 2021), sometimes credited as A. J. Johnson, was an American actor and comedian. He was best known for his role in Friday.


Born in Compton, California, his father Eddie Smith was a stuntman and a co-founder of the Black Stuntmen's Association. Johnson had credited his father for helping him enter the film industry, by getting him to work in film productions. He had also credited the comedian Robin Harris for helping him earlier on in his career as a stand-up comedian and giving him another chance even when he was jeered for his bad performance.[1][2]

Johnson began acting in his early twenties. In 1990, he landed a starring role as E.Z.E. in House Party, after which he started doing stand-up in bars in Los Angeles. He later appeared in Lethal Weapon 3 as a drug dealer and in Menace II Society. His biggest role was in the 1995 comedy Friday, as Ezal, a crackhead and thief. He also appeared in Panther, The Players Club, B*A*P*S, I Got The Hook Up,[3] Def Jam's How to Be a Player and Repos, and in rap videos: in Dr. Dre's "Dre Day" (1992), he played Sleazy-E, a parody of Eazy-E, and he appeared again as Sleazy-E in the video for Eazy-E's "Real Muthaphuckkin G's" (1993), this time being assaulted.[4]

Personal life

Johnson was married to Lexis Jones Mason and they had three children.[5] He also had two siblings: a brother named Edward Smith, and a sister named Sheila.[6]

In July 2009, it was reported that Johnson had a heart attack at LaGuardia Airport while on his way to a comedy show.[7] However, Johnson said in 2018 that it was instead a panic attack.[8]

Johnson died on September 6, 2021, aged 55, at a Los Angeles County hospital,[1] after being found unresponsive in a store.[9] His death was publicly announced on September 20 by his representative LyNea Bell.[6]



Year Title Role Notes
1982 Puss in Boots Field Hands TV Movie
1990 House Party[10][11] E.Z.E.
1992 Lethal Weapon 3 Drug Dealer
1993 Menace II Society[10][11] Tony
1994 House Party 3[11] Butcher
1995 Panther[12][13] Tony
Friday[11][14] Ezal
1996 The Great White Hype[11][12] Sultan's Valet
1997 B*A*P*S[11][12] James
How to Be a Player[11][14] Spootie
Hoover Park[13][14]
1998 The Players Club[11][14] L'il Man
Woo[11][12] Doorman
I Got The Hook Up[12][14] Blue
Dark Angeles Drug Dealer / Attorney
1999 Rising to the Top Jailer #2 Video
2000 Hot Boyz[11][14] Pee Wee Video
Baller Blockin' Himself
2001 O[11][12] Dell
2002 On the Edge Hank Conrad
2003 Sweet Hideaway Coach
2004 Roscoe's House of Chicken n Waffles[13] Roscoe Video
Hittin' It![12][14] Cousin E
2006 Repos[13] Tick Tack Video
2015 Office Staff AJ TV Movie
2016 Undercover Princesses Dolph Thomas
2017 Candy Lollipop
2018 5K1 Wash Manager
Hey, Mr. Postman![14] Cousin Tino
Consequencez Detective
2019 I Got The Hook Up 2[14] Blue
The Dummy O.G.B.C Hype Man
Shorty Betta Go 2 Work - Grandma Huttie's Boyfriend[14] Gold Grillz Short


Year Title Role Notes
1989 The Bold and the Beautiful Caterer #2 Episode: "Episode #1.579"
1993-97 Martin Clyde / LaFonne 2 Episodes
1994 Def Comedy Jam[14] Himself TV Series
South Central Thug on the Bus Episode: "Gun: Part 1"
1995 The Parent 'Hood[14] Tre Episode: "Welcome Back, Robert"
1996 Moesha G-Dog Episode: "Niece"
1997 Malcolm & Eddie[13] Free Willie 2 Episodes
The Jamie Foxx Show Lil Loc Dog Episode: "Super Face Off"


  1. ^ a b c Jiménez, Jesus (September 20, 2021). "Anthony Johnson, Actor Known for 'Friday,' Dies at 55". The New York Times. Retrieved September 20, 2021.
  2. ^ Weaver, Anna (September 21, 2021). "Actor Anthony Johnson, Of 'Friday' Fame, Dead At 55". KSBY. Retrieved September 21, 2021.
  3. ^ Kevin L. Clark (April 28, 2014). "Where Are They Now?: The Cast Of Friday: Anthony (A.J.) Johnson". Hip-Hop Wired.
  4. ^ "Cinema: Anthony Johnson (actor)". Archived from the original on July 6, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  5. ^ Morris, Bilaal (September 20, 2021). "RIP Anthony 'A.J.' Johnson: GoFundMe Launches As Fans Mourn Latest 'Friday' Star To Die". NewsOne. Retrieved September 20, 2021.
  6. ^ a b Evans, Greg (September 20, 2021). "Anthony "A.J." Johnson Dies: 'Friday', 'House Party' Actor & Comedian Was 55". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 20, 2021.
  7. ^ Smokey Fontaine (July 31, 2009). "AJ Johnson Resting Comfortably After Heart Attack". The Urban Daily.
  8. ^ Morris, Kevin (October 18, 2018). "Exclusive: AJ Johnson on Having Panic Attack on Plane in 2009, Plane Had to Land". VladTV. Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  9. ^ D'Zurilla, Christie (September 20, 2021). "Anthony 'A.J.' Johnson, 'Friday' and 'House Party' actor, dies at 55". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 20, 2021.
  10. ^ a b "Anthony Johnson". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 21, 2021.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Anthony Johnson – Filmography". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved September 21, 2021.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g "A.J. Johnson". British Film Institute. Retrieved September 21, 2021.
  13. ^ a b c d e "A.J. Johnson List of Movies and TV Shows". TV Guide. Retrieved September 21, 2021.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Anthony Johnson". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 21, 2021.

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