The wife of Friday actor Anthony Johnson has revealed that she and her family are struggling to pay for her husband’s funeral cost after his death at 55.
Lexis Jones Mason told TMZ on Wednesday morning that they have been getting ‘fake love’ in the wake of the comedian’s sudden death as their crowdfunding efforts have significantly fallen short.
The family had started a GoFundMe in hopes of raising the cash to pay for a service and burial but donations had totaled just under $800 at the time of her interview with the publication.
Sad loss: Actor Anthony Johnson died suddenly in Los Angeles at the age of 55, it was revealed on Monday; seen in the film I Got The Hook-Up
Tough times: His wife Lexis Jones Mason revealed to TMZ on Wednesday that she and her family are struggling to pay for her husband’s funeral cost as their attempt at raising money on GoFundMe has fallen significantly short
However, things have started to improve already as they have since been able to collect over $7,000 as of Wednesday morning.
Lexis had tears streaming down her face as she opened up about the struggle in her interview with TMZ as she said: ‘If you guys want to give what they want to give, I would appreciate it. If they don’t, that’s them.’
She goes on to say that many had told her that they would chip in on the effort but that hasn’t materialized as of yet and that many are opting to send emotional sport in lieu of the money they actually need at this point.
With tears running down her face Lexis said: ‘But just please stop the fake love. Please stop the fake calls. Please stop the fake texts. Please just for our family and when I say our family, I mean me, the kids, and the grandkids. Just stop it.’
Lexis had tears streaming down her face as she opened up about the struggle in her interview with TMZ as she said: ‘If you guys want to give what they want to give, I would appreciate it. If they don’t, that’s them’
On Monday it was revealed that Johnson had died suddenly at the age of 55 in Los Angeles.
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.
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.
‘Please stop the fake love’: She goes on to say that many had told her that they would chip in on the effort but that hasn’t materialized as of yet and that many are opting to send emotional sport in lieu of the money they actually need at this point
Johnson’s rep reached out to TMZ after news broke that he had passed.
‘Our BH Talent family is saddened about the loss of an amazing iconic legend in comedy, our client and friend Anthony “AJ” Johnson,’ the rep shared.
‘We are praying for all those that were touched by his comedy, acting, but most of all his life. We are especially praying for his beloved Wife, Children, Siblings and Manager.’
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 last role was in the 2019 film The Dummy with Souljah Boy, Steve Turner and Brian Hooks.
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.