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Anthony Johnson dead: Lethal Weapon star dies aged 55 after being found lifeless in a shop

Anthony 'AJ' Johnson, 55, was reportedly found lifeless in a Los Angeles store and was rushed to hospital where he was later pronounced dead, his nephew told TMZ. Johnson was best known for his roles in House Party and Friday, and for starring in the Lethal Weapon franchise.

His acting career took off in the 90s and he went on to perform as a stand-up comedian.

The star appeared in movies including Lethal Weapon 3 and Menace II Society, before his most famous role playing Ezal in the 1995 comedy Friday alongside Ice Cube and Chris Tucker.

It was rumoured that AJ had been set to reprise his role in the upcoming movie Last Friday, the fourth and final instalment in the franchise.

Johnson also starred in a number of rap videos including Dr Dre's Dre Day, where he played Sleazy-E, a parody of Eazy-E.

His death comes just months after fellow Friday star Tommy "Tiny" Lister died aged 62.

Tiny - the nickname he was ironically given at 6'5" - was best known for appearing as Deebo in the box office smash.

a person posing for the camera: Anthony johnson dead death lethal weapon actor dead death health news latest update

© MIRRORPIX Anthony johnson dead death lethal weapon actor dead death health news latest update

The star was found "unconscious" in his Los Angeles apartment in December 2020 and died at the scene after previously battling Covid.

Tommy's manager, Cindy Cowan, revealed he had been struggling to breathe just days before his death.

She explained that the actor had already tested positive for Covid earlier last year. 

Cindy told People: "He thought maybe his diabetes was starting to kick up because he just wasn't feeling right. He said, 'I feel like I'm getting Covid again.'"

However, after a few days, Cindy said Tommy was still "having a hard time breathing," and she notified him he may need to get tested.

As well as acting, Johnson also had a successful stand-up career, performing all over Los Angeles.

Tributes flooded social media after the news broke, with comedian Rickey Smiley sharing a photo tribute to the star among the first messages.

Producer Swiff D added: "RIP AJ Johnson (Ezell). Hands down one of the funniest dudes EVER."

ESPN's Marcus Spears wrote: "Rest well #AJJohnson thank you for the laughs and your Talent Fam!! You will always be 'EZAL'."

Comedian DL Hughey commented: "Damn!!! RIP."

While fans also mourned the loss of the star as they shared their condolences online.

@Monaliza_kc wrote: "We're losing all our greats."

@Celticsfan commented: "This is sad. Anthony Johnson, best known for his roles in House Party and Friday, has died."

@Mzgrs remarked: "Aw. I liked him." 

Reference: Holly Fleet: Daily Express

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