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Tommy Ford, Actor Known for ‘Martin’ and ‘The Parkers,’ Dies at 52

Actor Tommy Ford, a regular on the Fox comedy “Martin” and UPN sitcom “The Parkers,” was taken off life support an Atlanta hospital Wednesday afternoon. Ford was on life support after an aneurysm ruptured in his abdomen. He was 52.

Ford’s rep released a statement on behalf of his family confirming his passing. “It is with great sadness that we announce the untimely passing of our beloved Son, father, brother, husband, and friend Tommy Mykhal Ford.”

An Instagram post on his official account said the actor was surrounded by family and friends.

 

Martin Lawrence tweeted, “We were friends way b4 the Martin show & showed tru friendship on-screen. You brought a lot of love 2 the world & you’ll be greatly missed.”

https://twitter.com/realmartymar/status/786394470317039617

Another of Ford’s “Martin” costars, Carl Payne posted this touching tribute which read: “To my brother, like no other, from another mother. I LOVE YOU AND I THANK GOD FOR SHARING HIS AMAZING GIFT….TOMMY FORD!!”

 

The hashtag #hegotajobdawg was in reference to Ford’s “Martin” character, who constantly lied about his employment status. The rest of the characters would criticize him, saying, “He ain’t got no job!”

John Bowman, creator and exec producer of “Martin,” remembered Ford as an actor who was well-loved by his co-workers.

“Everybody loved Tommy. He had so much integrity,” Bowman told Variety. “He had gravitas, but excelled at physical comedy too.”

A Los Angeles native, Ford’s other credits included the Fox 1990s drama “New York Undercover,” the 1990 CBS sitcom “Uncle Buck,” and NBC’s short-lived “Singer & Sons” from the same year.

On “Martin,” Ford usually played the straight man to star Martin Lawrence in the sitcom about a radio and TV personality. Ford played the lead character’s best friend. He was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in 1996 for his work on “Martin,” which ran from 1992-97.

In recent years Ford had been a mainstay as an actor and producer of independent films and telepics geared toward African-American audiences, including 2016’s “Blues for Life” and “Love Different,” 2015’s “Every Family Has Problems,” and “Conflict of Interest.”

From 2006 to 2008 Ford hosted TV One’s comedy competition series “Who’s Got Jokes.”

In the 1990s and early 2000s Ford logged a slew of guest shots and supporting roles in films. His TV resume ranged from “Law & Order” and “MacGyver” to “Judging Amy” and “House.” His film credits included 1989’s “Harlem Nights,” 1992’s “Class Act,” and 1997’s “Against the Law.”

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