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'Friday' and 'Menace II Society' actor A.J. Johnson has died

20September 2021

Actor A.J. Johnson in a scene from the movie I Got the Hook Up, circa 1998.

Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images

Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images

Comedian and actor A.J. Johnson has died. Johnson was best known for Friday, Menace II Society and The Players Club.

Anthony “A.J.” Johnson, who played Ezal, a homeless man with drug addiction, in Friday and E.Z.E. in House Party, died on Friday. His death was confirmed by a spokesperson. He was 55. No cause of death has been disclosed.

According to TMZ, Johnson “was found lifeless in a store earlier this month in Los Angeles and rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.”

Johnson grew up in Compton, Calif. His father was a co-founder of the Black Stuntmen’s Association. In addition to stand-up, he appeared on television in such shows as Moesha and South Central.

“He has left with us amazing memories of his laughter, dynamic acting skills, but most of all his enormous personality and heart of gold,” according to a statement from Johnson’s representative.

Ice Cube, who co-wrote and starred in Friday, paid tribute on Twitter, saying, “Sad to wake up to the news about AJ Johnson passing away. Naturally funny dude who was straight outta Compton at the same time.”

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