Remembering “Tommy” from ‘Martin’: Lessons From His Life And Death

Remember Tommy “You Ain’t Got No Job” from Martin?

The famous actor Tommy Ford , the funny sidekick on the long-running hit show ‘Martin’ for years died at the age of 52. TMZ first reported that Ford’s wife, Gina, confirmed the ‘Martin’ sitcom alum was on life support following a ruptured aneurysm in his abdomen. But in October 2016, his health took a turn for the worse.

Less than a week before his death, Ford shared on his Instagram page that he was doing well in physical therapy following a recent knee replacement surgery. He wrote:

(Photo Credit: Thomas Ford instagram)

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!

After Martin ended, Ford found success in the detective drama New York Undercover as Lieutenant Malcolm Barker. He appeared on the UPN sitcom The Parkers in the recurring role of Nikki’s ex-husband and Kim’s father, Mel Parker, in seven episodes. He played Ben Cummings in The Power of Passion as one of the characters whose wife cheats on him with the pastor. He was also known as “The Pope of Comedy”, due to exposure as a judge on TV One’s comedy competition show Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes? In feature films, Ford appeared in the Kid ‘n Play movie Class Act as “Mink”. In Harlem Nights, he played Tommy Smalls, the brother of Arsenio Hall’s character. He was seen in the crime drama Against the Law (1997).

In 1998, Ford founded a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization called Be Still and Know. The organization’s mission was to build better communities for youth.

Ford also wrote two inspirational books for children, titled Positive Attitude and I Am Responsible for Me.[19][20] Ford spent time traveling to schools to inspire and empower children, and encourage responsibility. In June 2016 (four months before his death), Ford directed a documentary on bullying, entitled Through My Lens Atl; it aired in October 2016, on Aspire TV.

Many of us who learned of the tragic news of Ford’s death hadn’t ever heard of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. The condition mostly found in men over age 60 with additional risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The word “aneurysm” is usually linked with the brain. According to the American Heart Association, about 5 percent of the U.S. population is affected by brain aneurysms, which occur when the blood vessel wall in the brain is weakened and bulges out.

Here’s some of the Tommy’s most memorable moments:

Many do not know that Tommy was also an avid Christian. Here’s a clip from him rejoicing in the word.

“We did 153 episodes of ‘Martin’ and there was not one episode that I didn’t open with prayer. I got my first acting job in church. God is in the building,” preached Ford.

Dr. Shanicka Williams, a physician based in California, says that an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) “is a bulge in the main artery that leaves the heart that then supplies blood to the rest of the body. If that bulge…

bursts it can lead to internal bleeding.”

The risks for AAA, according to Dr. Williams, increase if you:

Are a man
●Are older than 60 (with every year of life after that, your risk goes up even more)
●Are white
●Have family members who have had the condition
●Have heart disease or other conditions that affect the blood vessels

As all things 90’s become new again, Ford solidified his place in history as part of the groundbreaking cast of ‘Martin.’ During the show’s five-season run, Ford played the no-job-having character “Tommy” and best friend to Martin. Other acting credits include the films “Harlem Nights” and “Across the Tracks,” along with TV shows “New York Undercover” and “The Parkers.

He has and forever will be missed.

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