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'Friday' actor Anthony Johnson dead at 55

Johnson is survived by his wife Lexis and his three children.

Actor and comedian Anthony "AJ" Johnson, best known for his role as Ezal in Ice Cube's comedy "Friday," has died, a representative confirmed to multiple news outlets

LyNea Bell confirmed that the "House Party" actor died at the age of 55, calling him an "iconic legend of stage and screen." Neither a date nor a cause of death was immediately given. 

In a statement obtained by USA Today, Bell said of Johnson, "the world of comedy has truly been shaken, again." Continuing with, "He has left with us amazing memories of his laughter, dynamic acting skills, but most of all his enormous personality and heart of gold. We will be in constant prayer for his entire family including his wife Lexis, 3 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."

Editor's note: The film clip below contains light profanity.

Rapper, director and actor Ice Cube paid tribute to the comedian on Twitter who was often referred to as A.J. In the statement Ice Cube wrote, "Sad to wake up to the news about AJ Johnson passing away. 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," he said. 

The limited budget 1995 film "Friday" grossed over $27 million at the box office, BuzzFeed News reported in 2015, and saw even more success in video and DVD rentals and purchases. The film, which is sold by Turner Classic Movies' store, is still so popular that physical copies remain on backorder there.


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