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Thomas Mikal Ford (1964 - 2016)

By Brian Richards | Miscellaneous | October 13, 2016 |

By Brian Richards | Miscellaneous | October 13, 2016 |

Thomas Mikal Ford, best known for his role as “Tommy” on the FOX television sitcom Martin, died yesterday at a hospital in Atlanta, due to an abdominal aneurysm. He was 52 years old.

Ford was also known for his roles in Harlem Nights, as well as the series New York Undercover (which he joined the cast of in its fourth and final season), The Parkers, and the stand-up comedy competition series Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes?

But it was his role as Tommy on Martin that many viewers, especially African-American viewers, will remember as his most memorable, and for so many reasons. From his constant mentions of his never-identified-or-described-in-detail job (which would always result in someone responding with some variation of “You ain’t got no job!”) to his shaved head being the target of many a joke from his best friend Martin (Domer Simpson, Heady Murphy) to his loud and infectious laugh, Ford’s performance as Tommy was something for African-American viewers to look forward to, watch, and enjoy every Thursday night (along with Living Single and New York Undercover) as a welcome alternative to NBC’s Must-See TV lineup. (Because once again, #RepresentationMatters.)

Ford’s castmate and friend Martin Lawrence paid tribute to him on Instagram:

And Roy Wood Jr, correspondent for The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, also paid tribute to Ford on Twitter and spoke highly of their time together when Ford hosted Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes?:

May he rest in peace.

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Brian Richards is a Staff Contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.