Actor Thomas “Tommy” Ford, best known for his role as Tommy in the 1990s hit sitcom “Martin,” has died in an Atlanta, GA hospital, a spokeswoman for his family said.
Tommy was 52.
No cause of death was announced, and the family released a statement Wednesday asking for privacy.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the untimely passing of our beloved son, father, brother, husband, and friend Tommy Mykhal Ford,” the statement said. “On behalf of the family, we would like to thank everyone for their love, support and prayers. Funeral arrangements will be forthcoming. Please respect the privacy of the Ford family during our time of grief.”
The actor had been documenting on social media his recovery from his recent knee replacement surgery shortly before his death.
The Los Angeles native was a graduate of the University of Southern California’s Fine Arts Acting Program, according to the actor’s site.
His first character role on television was as Lamar Collins on “A Different World.” He would go on to have other parts in television and films, including the 1989 Eddie Murphy movie “Harlem Nights.”
But his role as Tommy Strawn, straight man to Martin Lawrence’s jokester character on “Martin,” made Ford a star.
Lawrence mourned the loss of his friend, joining the flood of fans who paid tribute to him on Twitter.
“We were friends way b4 the Martin show & showed tru friendship on-screen,” Martin Lawrence tweeted. “You brought a lot of love 2 the world & you’ll be greatly missed.”
A long-running joke on the show surrounded what — if any — job the character Tommy had.
Ford explained during an interview with BlackDoctor.org that the joke came about when the cast returned for its second season.
The idea was sparked during a table read, Ford said, for a scene in which Lawrence’s character was to meet Ford’s after work.
“He wasn’t in character; he was being Martin,” Ford said. “He says, ‘You have a job?’ I said, ‘Of course I have a job!’ And I’m starting to explain but everybody’s like ‘No, no, no, no, no! Don’t explain. We love it!’ ”
After “Martin” ended in 1997, Ford continued working in television, appearing on popular series such as “New York Undercover,” “The Parkers” and “House.”
He was the Pope of Comedy on the TV One’s show “Who’s Got Jokes!”
Ford also produced and starred in a film short titled “The Club” and did some directing.
In addition to his career in Hollywood, Ford wrote children’s books and founded Be Still and Know Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to building better communities for disadvantaged youth.
We send our thoughts and prayers to the Ford family during their time of grief.
Atlanta mayor to vandalizing protesters: ‘This is not a protest … this is chaos’
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Friday evening denounced vandalism in her city as “chaos” after demonstrations over the death of George Floyd while in in the custody of Minneapolis police turned violent.
“What I see happening on the streets of Atlanta is not Atlanta. This is not a protest. This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. This is chaos,” an impassioned Lance Bottoms said at a news conference.
“A protest has purpose. When Dr. King was assassinated, we didn’t do this to our city,” she said. “If you want change in America, go and register to vote. … That is the change we need in this country.”
The protests had started as peaceful Friday afternoon when crowds gathered in the city’s famed Centennial Park. But by 6 p.m. ET, protesters began moving toward the front of the CNN Center, where police had gathered. Over the next few hours, the demonstration swelled as SWAT officers were called in to help with crowd control.
Later, protesters could be seen damaging CNN Center in downtown Atlanta, which is sandwiched between Philips Arena and Centennial Park.
In response, Lance Bottoms, whose name has been floated as a possible vice presidential pick for presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, referenced CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez, who earlier Friday had been arrested — and then released about an hour later — while covering protests over Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.
“There was a black reporter who was arrested on camera this morning, who works for CNN. They are telling our stories, and you are disgracing their building,” she said. “We are no longer talking about the murder of an innocent man. We’re talking about how you’re burning police cars on the streets of Atlanta, Georgia.”
Anger over the death of Floyd spilled over into multiple cities across the country after the former officer seen in a video with his knee on Floyd’s neck was arrested and charged with murder.
Demonstrators funneled their anguish in cities like New York and Washington into chants, signs, and outbreaks of violence, smashing windows and setting vehicles ablaze.
“I am a mother to four black children in America, one of who is 18 years old,” Lance Bottoms said. “Yesterday, when I heard there were rumors about violent protests in Atlanta, I did what a mother would do, I called my son and I said, ‘Where are you?’ I said, ‘I cannot protect you, and black boys shouldn’t be out today.’ “
“So you’re not going to out-concern me and out-care about where we are in America,” she added.
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died after he was pinned down by police officer Derek Chauvin. The video of the handcuffed man dying while Chauvin knelt on his neck sparked a fresh furor in the US over police treatment of African Americans. The video shared online showed Floyd pleading that he couldn’t breathe. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey fired four police officers following the death in custody of George Floyd. Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Demonstrations are being held across the US demanding justice for Floyd.
BREAKING: Cobb DA Joyette Holmes Named Prosecutor In Ahmaud Arbery Case
Georgia’s attorney general will appoint a new prosecutor in the Ahmaud Arbery case.
Attorney General Chris Carr will name Cobb District Attorney Joyette Holmes to take over the case, Belcher learned.
Belcher spoke to Holmes, who did not deny it but instead just referred him to the current special prosecutor, Thomas Durden.
The official announcement is expected later today, Belcher said.
Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was killed by a father and son as he jogged through their Glynn County neighborhood back in February. A video shot on a cellphone showed the confrontation between Arbery and the McMichaels after they confronted him with guns. It took 74 days for the McMichaels to be arrested and charged for Arbery’s death.
The McMichaels say that they suspected Arbery had broken into a home nearby that is under construction. Authorities said the McMichaels, thinking he was a burglary suspect, pursued him.
Arbery was shot and killed moments later.
BLACK MUSIC HONORS 2019
CENTRAL CITY PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS THE 2019 BLACK MUSIC HONORS IN A NEW CITY AND VENUE
XSCAPE, FREDDIE JACKSON, YOLANDA ADAMS AND ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT TO RECEIVE BLACK MUSIC HONORS RECOGNITION
RICKEY SMILEY AND LETOYA LUCKETT RETURN AS HOSTS OF TELEVISION SPECIAL
CHICAGO, IL. – July 26, 2019 – Chicago based television production company Central City Productions announces the 2019 Black Music Honors television taping set to take place on Thursday, September 5th at The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, GA. During this star-studded two-hour television special, Central City Productions (CCP) will honor artists and musicians who have influenced and made significant contributions to American music.
The honorees for this year’s Black Music Honors include Xscape who will receive the Urban Music Icon Award for the platinum selling quartet group’s 25 years in the industry. Yolanda Adams will receive the Gospel Music Icon Award. Culturally-conscience eclectic group, Arrested Development and chart-topping crooner, Freddie Jackson, whose career has spanned over 33 years, will also be honored.
“The vision behind the Black Music Honors is to recognize the trailblazers in African American music who have paved the way for the artists of today. Many of these artists have never received their much-deserved recognition,” stated Founder and Executive Producer, Don Jackson.
Television and radio personality Rickey Smiley and Grammy® Award-winner and actress LeToya Luckett return as co-hosts of the show, which is set to air in broadcast syndication Sept. 14 – October 20, 2019. State Farm returns as the show’s title sponsor.
The epic event will be held at The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre located at 2800 Cobb Galleria Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30339. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the show taping at 7 p.m.
Tickets are available at: blackmusichonors.com and ticketmaster.com
The 4th Annual Black Music Honors show is Executive Produced by Don Jackson, with Jennifer J. Jackson serving as Producer and Michael A. Johnson as Producer and Director.
For more information on Black Music Honors, please visit www.blackmusichonors.com and connect on social media@blackmusichonors #BMH2019 and #BlackMusicMatters.
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