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Thomas Mikal Ford ~ above stage throughout R Kelly power at American airlines Arena on might 28, 2016 in Miami, Florida. Johnny Louis/WireImage
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By Justin Tinsley

Actor cutting board Mikal Ford, ideal known together Tommy of the legendary ’90s sitcom Martin, died Wednesday in an Atlanta hospital. The reason of death is apparently a ruptured abdominal muscle aneurysm. He was 52.

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Ford — together with Martin Lawrence (Martin), Tisha Campbell-Martin (Gina), Tichina Arnold (Pam) and also Carl Anthony Payne II (Cole) — was a vital figure in an prominent cast. The ensemble’s relevance continues to expand nearly 20 years since that is 1997 finale. News the Ford’s death reverberated easily in an acting ar still reeling indigenous the fatality of actor bill Nunn, that was ideal known for his role as Radio Raheem in Spike Lee’s 1989 standard Do The right Thing. Ford, a personality actor par excellence, to be far much more than simply the beloved and dryly hilarious Tommy.

A motivational speaker and also published author, Ford specialized much the his enthusiasm to help at-risk youth. His exhilaration resume has credits beyond his 132-episode martin run. Ford starred alongside Eddie Murphy, Redd Foxx and Richard Pryor in 1989’s Harlem Nights together Tommy Smalls. He played the hilarious goon and Kid ‘n play antagonist Mink in 1992’s class Act. He flexed in brand-new York Undercover and The Parkers, and even ventured into the animated human being with Disney’s The Proud Family.


There was Cole’s goofiness, Pam’s spunk, Gina’s feistiness and also Martin’s unpredictability — Tommy was the savvy, smooth, however equally ludicrous adhesive of the crew.

But hell be remembered many as Tommy Strawn, Martin’s lovable finest friend who we every swore to be unemployed — until finding out previously this year he actually wasn’t. It was roughly the exact same time the college of Michigan’s Fab 5 commandeered university basketball with their flamboyance and bravado, the the Detroit-set martin arrived v its own quirky quintet. There was Cole’s goofiness, Pam’s spunk, Gina’s feistiness and Martin’s unpredictability — Tommy to be the savvy, smooth, yet equally ludicrous adhesive of the crew.

Ford’s fatality calls to mind James Avery, Uncle Phil native The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, who passed away in 2013. Avery wasn’t the key character, however he to be iconic, necessary and eternal. Prefer Uncle Phil and also Radio Raheem, we’ll miss the Los Angeles-born Ford forever. And while TVOne and MTV2 marathons i will not ~ feel quite the same, the best means to pay homage to the guy who brought us for this reason much delight is come laugh. Laugh in the challenge of pain. There space so numerous indelible martin moments. Rest in comedic peace, Tommy.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWzJ3zSFH7o

Tommy’s impeccable acronym game

Is this an actual requirement for friendship? more than likely not. Yet it’s amazing just how a witness stand have the right to crack any type of man v the appropriate line that questioning. Martin never should have gone come fight the ticket that said he didn’t pertained to a finish stop in ~ a avoid sign. However we’re happy he did. Because without that hilarious illustration — Season 2, episode 16: “No Justice, No Peace” — us wouldn’t have actually the many hilarious question in courtroom history. “WHAT walk G-T-D stand FOR?!” If your people don’t know the answer, find new friends.

Tommy’s love because that black-owned businesses

By far the funniest continuous theme transparent the series was wonder what Tommy did because that a living. Situation in allude this hilarious scene through “Hustle Man” played by Tracy Morgan. Say what girlfriend want around Tommy constantly being “in between jobs,” he maintained money pumping in his own community. Even if the same community played v a smedium-sized pizza.

Tommy’s capability to think top top the fly

Whether eulogizing a dead plumber (who wasn’t really dead) top top Martin’s couch or help to provide a baby, Tommy was a man of many skills. Which in which method didn’t interpret into a job, but that’s beside the point. In a series with so countless funny scenes, the baby shipment scene remains among the most criminally underrated. From Martin asking, “How far apart are the attractions?” come Cole acquiring his Doogie Howser on come Tommy asking whereby the baby’s umbilical cord is, the comedic chemistry here is v the roof.

When Tommy almost lost it

Speaking the funny scenes from Martin, just two options really suffice once debating the GOAT (greatest of every time). It’s one of two people “That ain’t no cursed puppy!” from the “Chilligan’s Island” episode or the new Jack City-inspired “Suspicious Minds.” Otherwise well-known as the stolen CD player episode. Among the absolute standout moments in the scene, and also please think there were several, was Tommy struggling to preserve character and also not laugh. Actually exactly how he managed not to is a testament to that guy’s professionalism. Because if it were me? we’d still be shooting the scene.

Tommy’s voice of reason

Martin to be paranoid, which frequently led him to, well, you recognize where it led him. So Tommy had actually to eventually talk him turn off the ledge, which oftentimes no work because Martin walk what he want to, regardless. The still doesn’t median it wasn’t funny to watch Tommy try. Prefer telling martin he couldn’t afford the Hoshi-Toshi 2000 large screen TV. Or that Gina yes, really wasn’t make the efforts to kill him for his insurance money. Or that Gina no cheating top top him. Tommy failed quite often at do the efforts to convince Martin he was wrong, but that’s component of what do Martin, Tommy and also Cole such a dynamic trio.

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Tommy’s loyalty

All any kind of man can ever before ask for is for his friend to ride with him. And also that’s what Tommy did. Tommy was Martin’s trainer as soon as it was time to fight Tommy “Hitman” Hearns (a fight that never would have happened had Gina and Pam no ridden in Hearns’ limo, for the record). Tommy never cracked under Thanksgiving pressure. And also Tommy was standing tall with Martin, Cole and Air Gordon together they all captured L after together from the USA Women’s Basketball squad. And, of course, yes sir this one: the constantly classic — and also near and also dear to any Martin pan — the DMV illustration that resulted in both of them capturing a fade. Low-key, too, young name vs. Miss Jeri to be the many underrated beef that the ’90s. R.I.P. Jeri Gray. R.I.P. Sherman Hemsley. R.I.P. Tommy. Three legends every in one scene. Every gone.