Thomas Mikal Ford, an actor known for his portrayal of the pragmatic yet charming character Tommy in the 1990s television sitcom “Martin,” died on Wednesday. He was 52.
His death was confirmed in a family statement released by the J Pervis Talent Agency. A cause of death was not immediately available, but news accounts said he had an abdominal aneurysm and died in a hospital in Atlanta. Mr. Ford had knee replacement surgery last week, according to his Instagram account.
Mr. Ford, who was named Tommy Mykal but who used a slightly different stage name, appeared in more than 80 movies, videos and television productions dating to the 1980s.
He was probably best remembered for his role as Thomas (Tommy) Strawn from 1992 to 1997 on “Martin,” which featured the comedian Martin Lawrence. Mr. Ford’s Tommy was often the subject of and the straight man for Mr. Lawrence’s jokes. A running gag on the show was Tommy’s lofty aspirations paired with his fuzzy employment status, which often played out with other characters reminding him that he had no job.
Mr. Ford was nominated in the category of outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series at the 1996 N.A.A.C.P. Image Awards for his role in the series.
He was born on Sept. 5, 1964, in Los Angeles. Information on survivors was not immediately available.
Mr. Ford appeared in the 1989 crime comedy “Harlem Nights,” which starred Redd Foxx, Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor. He played Lt. Malcolm Baker in the detective drama “New York Undercover” from 1998 to 1999, and Mel Parker, a fun-loving father, in seven episodes of “The Parkers,” from 1999 to 2001. He also appeared as Marcus on “The Jamie Foxx Show” in 1999.
He recently completed four seasons of “Who’s Got Jokes?” on the cable network TV One. He starred in and helped produce or write films such as “Against the Law” (1997), “Baby Mama’s Club” (2010) and “Love Different” (2016).
Mr. Ford had turned his attention to directing and producing television dramas and sitcom pilots, according to his website. He was most recently filming “Reverse the Lynch Curse,” a documentary about breaking curses of distrust and envy. His website noted that he pursued a longtime dream and began a series of children’s books intended to promote healthy, spiritual and nonviolent living.