Martin star Tommy Ford died at age 52 on Wednesday, October 12, TMZ reports. According to the site, the actor passed away at an Atlanta hospital surrounded by family and friends.
TMZ reports that Ford’s family made the decision to take him off of life support Wednesday afternoon days after he entered the hospital on Sunday for a ruptured aneurysm in his abdomen. Ford was best known for his role as Thomas “Tommy” Strawn on the Fox sitcom series Martin, which aired from 1992 to 1997. After Martin ended, Ford played Lieutenant Malcom Baker on the Fox drama New York Undercover during the series’ fourth and final season in 1998.
Ford then went on to play Mel Parker on The Parkers from 1999 to 2001 and also appeared on The Jamie Foxx Show in 1999. After taking a break from showbiz, Ford made a comeback when he signed on to be a judge on TV One’s comedy competition series Who’s Got Jokes?.
Ford — known to fans as The Pope of Comedy — was celebrated for his funny impersonation of stereotypical black preachers. He memorably played the Reverend on BET’s Let’s Stay Together, which ran from 2011 until 2014.
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After news of his death broke, fans took to social media to share their condolences for the late comedian.
“I can’t believe Tommy from Martin past away. May he Rest In Peace Gone too soon at age 52 #TommyFord,” one wrote, while another tweeted: “RIP #TommyFord you were hilarious on Martin. #legend.”
Ford is survived by his wife, Gina Sasso. He never had children.