Gone Too Soon: Actor Tommy Ford Of Martin Fame Dead At 52
Actor Tommy Ford, who played Martin Lawrence‘s best friend on the hit show Martin, has reportedly passed away. According to multiple reports, the 52-year-old comedic character actor had been placed on life support after an aneurysm ruptured in his abdomen. The event happened on Sunday, and as his health has declined family, friends and his former cast mates rushed to be by his side. Co-stars traveled to Atlanta to be with Tommy, including Tichina Arnold who “dropped everything” to be with Ford. “She was supposed to be on a carpet, but this is way more important. She’s not the only one, the entire Martin cast is getting together to be by his side,” a source told PEOPLE.
Ford appeared in all five seasons of Martin from 1992 to 1997. “The cast is all still really close and everybody talks,” the source continued on saying. “It’s definitely a shock, he was not in poor health. She’s [Tichina Arnold] kept in contact throughout the years and this is just sad for all of them.” Arnold, who played Tommy’s on-and-off girlfriend, Pamela James, on the series, offered a statement, saying, “My heart is with the family and I just hope everyone respects their privacy at this time.” In addition to Martin, Ford also appeared in several films — most notably Harlem Nights with Eddie Murphy — and most recently played the role of the Pope of Comedy on the TV One show, Who’s Got Jokes.
Born Thomas Mikal Ford, millions were endeared by the man who was Martin Payne’s best friend, straight man and comic foil on the show. His legacy after the series ended went into philanthropic endeavors, as the Los Angeles native was also an author of children’s books and worked with organizations promoting education and non-violence lifestyles. He was in the process of working on a documentary entitled Reverse the Lynch Curse, which shows just how much he loved his people and wanted us all to grow and set positive goals for ourselves. In one of the last few messages to his friends, family and fans, posted on Oct. 7, Tommy tweeted a picture of working with his physical therapist following a recent knee surgery.
This is another tragedy in a long laundry list of passings. Our condolences go out to his family, friends, the cast of Martin and fans who loved the larger than life person.
Below, take a second to pause and cherish his memory, by taking a look at some of his best moments from Martin.