'Martin' actor Thomas Ford dies at age 52

Ford played Martin Lawrence's best friend Tommy Strawn on the hit '90s sitcom "Martin"

Thomas Ford, an actor best known for playing a friend of Martin Lawrence's character on the 1990s sitcom "Martin," died Wednesday in Atlanta. He was 52. There had been reports earlier in the day that Ford was on life support at an Atlanta hospital after suffering a ruptured aneurysm in his abdomen. In recent weeks, Ford posted on Instagram about having knee-replacement surgery and said that he was being diligent about physical therapy and looked forward to returning to work.

It is with great sadness that we announce the untimely passing of our beloved Son, father, brother, husband, and friend Tommy Mykal Ford. On behalf of the family, we would like to thank everyone for their love, support and prayers.

Thomas Ford's family, in a statement

The actor played the levelheaded pal of Lawrence on "Martin" for the show's entire five-year run, which aired on Fox from 1992 to 1997. Ford had other TV parts, notably as Lt. Malcolm Barker on Fox's "New York Undercover" and as Mel Parker on UPN's "The Parkers"; he also played the Pope of Comedy on TV One's "Who's Got Jokes" with Bill Bellamy. He held another career as a motivational speaker and a children's book author. The actor's website said he had been focusing on building a career behind the camera. Ford was also involved in several theater productions.

Summarized by

Thomas Mikal Ford

Thomas Mikal"Tommy" Ford was an American actor who was best known for his role as Tommy Strawn in the sitcom Martin, and for his recurring role as Mel Parker in the UPN sitcom The Parkers.