Actor Anthony Johnson has died in Los Angeles at the age of 55, it was revealed on Monday.
The star was best known for his comedic turns in the films House Party (1990) and Friday (1995) but he also had a successful career as a stand-up comedian in Los Angeles.
His nephew told TMZ that Anthony had been found passed out in a Los Angeles store earlier this month. He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Sad loss: Actor Anthony Johnson has died in Los Angeles at the age of 55, it was revealed on Monday; seen in the film I Got The Hook-Up
The cause of death has not yet been released, according to the site.
In 2017, he reportedly suffered a panic attack at LaGuardia Airport in New York on his way to a comedy show. It is not known if his issues with anxiety are linked to his death.
The funny man came to fame in 1990 when he starred as EZE in the movie House Party which featured hip hop duo Kid ‘n Play.
Also in the film were Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell and Daryl ‘Chill’ Mitchell.
The movie was about a wild house party with a popular DJ and pretty women.
Good hit: He had more range as Ezal in the 1995 cult classic Friday
In a scene: The hilarious film about pot smokers who don’t do much other than sit outside their house starred Ice Cube, Chris Tucker
Anthony then took guest starring roles in bigger budget films like Lethal Weapon 3 and Menace II Society.
He had more range as Ezal in the 1995 cult classic Friday. The hilarious film about pot smokers who don’t do much other than sit outside their house starred Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Nia Long, Bernie Mac, Tiny ‘Zeus’ Lister Jr., and John Witherspoon.
There has been talk that Johnson was going to reprise his role in the upcoming sequel named Last Friday.
He had a future: There has been talk that Johnson was going to reprise his role in the upcoming sequel named Last Friday
Johnson also appeared on several TV shows as a guest star.
He was in Moesha, Martin, Malcolm & Eddie, The Players Club and I Got the Hook Up and its sequel.
The versatile star also did well as a stand-up all comedian in Los Angeles clubs.
He was born and raised in Compton, California. Anthony found his way into acting through his father who worked as a stuntman.
When he entered the business he went by AJ Johnson.
His Friday co-star Witherspoon passed in 2019 at 77 at his Sherman Oaks home. His actress wife Angela shared that she was ‘just in shock’.
Witherspoon is survived by his sons Alexander and J.D. – and in an emotional social media post, J.D., a fellow comedian, shared what an inspiration his ‘best friend’ and hero’ was.
‘So…my Dad died today & honestly I’m not sure how to feel. I’m sad, but I’m also happy 4 all the great times we had together. We’d roast each other like homies more than Father & Son, and I really loved that about us,’ he posted.
‘In all seriousness I work as hard as I do thanks to seeing Him grind for literally 77 years of his life, and I’m damn proud to be his son.
Remembered: Stand-up comedian and actor John Witherspoon passed away in 2019 in Los Angeles, at the age of 77 (seen in 2005)
Weekend warrior: Witherspoon is probably best known for his role in Friday, where he played curmudgeonly Mr. Jones opposite Ice Cube and Chris Tucker, seen above
‘If I have even half the career & impact he has had on people I’ll be very happy. His legacy will live on through me, my family, his friends, and everyone else who was touched by him here on earth. He was my best friend & my Hero. I Love U Dad…I’ll miss u.’
J.D. – whose godfather is David Letterman – shared that ‘time waits for NO ONE, so if you have a loved one or someone you care about dearly let them know ASAP!’.
He admitted: ‘I wish I would’ve called my dad today. Or stopped by his house to say hi one last time.’
He was born in Detroit in 1942 as John Weatherspoon, changing his name when he embarked on a stand-up comedy career.
Witherspoon made his feature film debut in 1980 in The Jazz Singer, later appearing in films such as Vampire In Brooklyn, Hollywood Shuffle, Boomerang, I’m Gonna Get Your Sucka, Soul Plane and The Meteor Man.
Son J.D posted tribute calling him ‘best friend & my Hero’ saying he’s ‘not sure how to feel. I’m sad, but I’m also happy 4 all the great times we had together’
Comedian Neal Brennan recalled Wednesday a story Witherspoon’s Boomerang co-star Eddie Murphy told ‘about a time at the Comedy Store in the 1980’s when Paul Mooney and “Spoon” were gonna beat him up in the parking lot’.
Only two weeks ago Witherspoon revealed that he wasn’t Murphy’s first choice for his role in the movie. Noting his comedy inspirations as the late Richard Pryor and Paul Mooney, Witherspoon told WZAK radio that he actually filmed 1992’s Boomerang scenes after shooting was complete.
He also appeared in Murphy’s Dr Doolittle 2.
But Witherspoon is likely best known for his role in 1995’s Friday, where he played curmudgeonly Mr. Willie Jones opposite Ice Cube and Chris Tucker.
He would later go on to star in the sequel Next Friday in 2000 and the sequel Friday After Next in 2002. He was the only actor to star in all three movies, apart from Ice Cube.