Former Martin star Tommy Ford died Wednesday after suffering a reported aneurysm in his abdomen on Sunday. The comedian played the straight man to Martin Lawrence on the ’90s sitcom, shelling out advice despite never showing definitive signs of his own employment.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the untimely passing of our beloved Son, father, brother, husband, and friend Tommy Mykal Ford,” his family said in a statement. “On behalf of the family, we would like to thank everyone for their love, support and prayers. Funeral arrangements will be forthcoming. Please respect the privacy of the Ford family during our time of grief.”
“Tommy was not only a great costar but he was a great man and friend,” Lawrence said in a statement to EW. “He always brought with him his spirituality a positive attitude and so much joy. I am sad the world lost a great talent and that I lost a wonderful friend. God bless him and his family.”
“Today I received some sad news that I have lost my brother and cast member #tommyford,” Who’s Got Jokes? star Bill Bellamy wrote about his former colleague. “We bonded over 5 seasons of #whosgotjokes a show that highlighted so many of the next generation comedians. I just want the fans to pray for all of our families.”
Roots drummer and Tonight Show bandleader Questlove added: “damn tommy. next to coming to america, i can’t think of another single pop culture franchise i’ve referenced more in my life. thank you bro.”
See a collection of reactions below.