Compton native and Comedian Anthony “AJ” Johnson was found unresponsive in a store earlier this month, but for some reason, the public became aware of the incident earlier this week. No official cause of death has been released. He was 56.
Beyond the 1995 hit film “Friday,” Johnson also appeared in several well-known Black films including “House Party,” “Menace II Society,” “Lethal Weapon 3,” “The Players Club,” Master P’s “I Got The Hook Up” as well as “B.A.P.S.”
Johnson’s television credits include “Martin” and “Malcolm & Eddie.”
Unfortunately, Johnson was not cast in the Final “Friday” film although he says that he was told by Ice Cube that he would be. In interviews Johnson is quoted as saying that he was actually barred from the set of the last “Friday” film.
Johnson’s father was the co-founder of the Black Stuntmen Association and was the one who would help Johnson get his foot in background acting. Formed in the late 1960’s the BSA were instrumental in breaking barriers where Black actors were racially discriminated against, in favor of white actors who would paint their faces dark, for roles which could have easily gone to Black people.
Johnson’s wife took to social media where she blasted those who knew him and requested support for his funeral arraignments. Comedian Lil Rel Howery donated $4k to the GoFundMe set up for Johnson’s funeral, which has since reached $46k of the $25,000 goal.
In one of his last interviews on Hip-Hop Uncensored, Johnson spoke about how he broke into the industry.