Social media became alive on the morning of October 12 with rumors of Ford’s death, and the rumors gained momentum when Blackish star Anthony Anderson tweeted the sad news. But Anderson later retracted that statement, tweeting, “I was given misinformation about our friend. That’s why the tweet was removed. We are all still praying for Tommy. He needs us even more.”
At the time of Anderson’s retraction, Ford was still alive. Later today the family made the decision to remove him from life support.
TMZ reports that Ford has been hospitalized since October 9 “after an aneurysm ruptured in his abdomen.”
In the weeks previous, Ford had posted on Instagram about having knee replacement surgery. A few days before he was hospitalized in the aftermath of the surgery, Ford wrote on social media, “Working really hard in physical therapy! My progress is amazing! Thank you for all of your prayers and words of encouragement! I’m excited about getting back to work!”
In addition to his role on Martin, where he played Tommy Strawn for the show’s entire five-year run, according to his IMDb page, he also had a role in the Eddie Murphy/Richard Pryor 1989 movie Harlem Nights. Ford’s other major roles included Lt. Malcolm Barker in New York Undercover and Mel Parker in The Parkers.
As well as acting, Ford was a motivational speaker, preaching about the perils of drugs and violence. He wrote on his official website:
Young people mirror the images of those that they perceive are cool! Actors, singers, rappers, athletes and entertainers. I have done more than 200 episodes of television, more than two dozen films, and close to 100 theatrical performances!
While I have the platform it is my opportunity to let our children, youth and adults know that they’re beautiful, they’re powerful, they’re valuable and they’re worth-while!