The actor Anthony Johnson, best known for his role as Ezal in F. Gary Gray’s 1995 film Friday, has died at the age of 55.
LyNea Bell, Johnson’s rep, revealed the sad news to The Hollywood Reporter, stating: “We lost an icon. He will be greatly missed.”
Continuing, she noted in a statement: “He has left with us amazing memories of his laughter, dynamic acting skills, but most of all his enormous personality and heart of gold”.
Concluding, she added: “We will be in constant prayer for his entire family including his wife Lexis, three children, brother Edward ‘Peanut’ Smith, sister Sheila, and lifetime manager and friend Mike D. Please give them the time they need to process and grieve such a huge loss”.
The announcement of Anthony Johnson’s tragic passing was joined by tributes from across the entertainment industry, including from co-star of Friday, Ice Cube, who took to Instagram to say: “Sad to wake up to the news about AJ Johnson passing away,” he wrote. “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”.
Tributes also came in from the likes of Jamie Foxx on Instagram, who wrote “Wow rest in POWER my guy. We shared some fun times throughout the years… I watched AJ go from baggin on fools on Venice beach to the silver screen! God bless”.
In addition, American rapper Master P also posted, “We had so many great memories on creating I Got the Hook Up 1 & 2. RIP AJ Johnson aka ‘Blue’ Talented and one of a kind. You’ll never be forgotten! #IGotTheHookUp From the hood to Hollywood, he did it his way. Another legend gone too soon.”
Alongside the cult classic Friday, Anthony Johnson also starred in films including House Party, Menace II Society and Lethal Weapon 3 alongside TV appearances in Martin and Malcolm & Eddie.
Anthony Johnson is survived by his wife, three children and brother.