Anthony Johnson, actor known for 'Friday,' dies at 55

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, June 15, 2024

Anthony Johnson, actor known for 'Friday,' dies at 55
Johnson is perhaps best known for playing Ezal, a drug addict and thief who unintentionally interrupts a heist, in the 1995 movie “Friday,” starring Ice Cube.

by Jesus Jiménez

NEW YORK, NY.- Anthony Johnson, an actor and comedian known for small but memorable roles in “Friday,” “House Party” and about two dozen other movies, died on Sept. 6. He was 55.

His death, in a hospital in Los Angeles County, California, was confirmed by his agent, LyNea Bell, and the county medical examiner’s office; neither specified a cause.

Johnson is perhaps best known for playing Ezal, a drug addict and thief who unintentionally interrupts a heist, in the 1995 movie “Friday,” starring Ice Cube. Johnson’s other film credits, sometimes as A.J. Johnson, include “House Party” (1990), “Menace II Society” (1993) and “B.A.P.S.” (1997).

Johnson was born on Feb. 1, 1966, and grew up in Compton, California.

“If you made it out of Compton, you can make it anywhere,” he said in a 2018 interview with VladTV. “You had to be really careful and watch yourself back in them days.”

In a 2013 interview for a YouTube series called “Conversations of an Actor,” Johnson said his father, Eddie Smith, was a stuntman who worked with Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall and other stars. His father, he said, helped him get his start in the industry by getting him involved in work behind the scenes.

“He told me whenever I’m on camera to always stand out, to do something on camera to make people remember me,” Johnson said in the 2018 interview.

In the 2013 interview, Johnson said he had never taken an acting class.

“It’s, like, real easy to act,” he said. “You just put yourself in the situation that you’re not in but you really want to be in.”

Johnson’s survivors include his wife, Lexis, and three children, as well as a brother, Edward Smith, and a sister, Sheila.

As the news of Johnson’s death spread on Monday, actors and performers shared memories and brief appreciations on social media. Ice Cube described Johnson on Twitter as a “naturally funny dude.”

Rapper and actor Shad Moss, who is also known by his stage name, Bow Wow, credited Johnson with helping to set his career in motion. In a video on Instagram, he said that Johnson had been serving as the emcee on the 1993 Chronic Tour, headlined by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, when he picked Moss out of the crowd and invited him backstage.

“If it wasn’t for A.J. Johnson’s eyes, and then picking me out of the crowd out of 20,000 people in Ohio, I don’t think there would have ever been a Bow Wow,” he said. “You will truly be missed, and you’re definitely going to go down in history as one of the greatest.”

In addition to performing standup comedy and acting in movies, Johnson said in 2013 that he had also appeared in plays, and expressed a desire to return to the stage.

“It’s like doing standup,” he said. “I love it. I love the theater. That’s where I’m going back.”

Johnson said that Robin Harris, an actor and comedian who also appeared in “House Party,” had helped him early in his career, including by giving one of his first shots at doing standup.

“I did about three minutes and got booed,” Johnson said in the 2013 interview. “He told me to go home and make up some jokes. I came back, and the rest is history.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

Today's News

September 22, 2021

Rollins Museum of Art features work by Frances Gallardo and Nathan Budoff

Albertina Museum marks the 100th aniversary of Amedeo Modigliani's death with exhibition

Picasso family hands over artworks to pay French tax

Exhibition at Fondation Beyeler provides unexpected and unique perspectives on the history of portraiture

2,000 works by Josef Koudelka acquired by four museums in Czech Republic

Rhona Hoffman Gallery opens an exhibition of works by Jacob Hashimoto

US to hand over 3,500-year-old 'Gilgamesh' tablet to Iraq

Gagosian announces the representation of Rick Lowe

David Zwirner opens an exhibition of new work by Marcel Dzama

Sexual harassment trial set for Belgian art star Jan Fabre

James Bond 007 Bell model helicopter offered in Automobilia sale at H&H Classics

The Sarah Belk Gambrell Falangcai Vase achieves $2.45 million at Doyle

Morphy's Oct. 3-4 Automobilia, Petroliana & Railroadiana Auction features collection of 30 spectacular neon signs

Seena Hodges elected as Walker Board President

Elvis Presley signed contract for Graceland brings $114,660 at

At 75, the Ojai Music Festival stays focused on the future

Anthony Johnson, actor known for 'Friday,' dies at 55

WIELS presents an unprecedented exhibition of Marcel Broodthaers

Almost 650 coins, tokens, historical medals and paper money included in Dix Noonan Webb sale

Record-breaking sales of Batman, Avengers, Superman, Thor comics & more at Goldin

John Booth appointed Chair of the National Gallery's Board of Trustees

'Angela Davis: Seize the Time' now open at Zimmerli Art Museum

Rare page from beloved Asterix and Obelix headed to Heritage International Original Art & Anime event

Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. announces results of Sept. 11th-12th back-to-back online auctions

Photography Editing Styles to Master in 2021

Facebook downloader supports downloading videos on both PC and phones latest 2021

How to Attract New Customers in a Small Business

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful