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'Martin' Actor Thomas Mikal Ford Dies

Thomas Mikal Ford, who starred on five seasons of Martin Lawrence's Martin sitcom, died late Wednesday afternoon, his agent, Joy Pervis, told the The Hollywood Reporter. He was 54.

Ford's family released a statement: "It is with great sadness that we announce the untimely passing of our beloved son, father, brother, husband, and friend Tommy Mykhal Ford. 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."

The actor, best known as Tommy Ford, joined the Fox sitcom in 1992, playing sidekick Tommy Strawn in the comedy for more than 100 episodes. Following the series, he nabbed a role in Fox's drama series New York Undercover as Lt. Malcolm Barker and on UPN's The Parkers as Mel Parker. 

Prior to his career-making turn in the Lawrence series, Ford appeared in MacGyver, Living Single, The Flash, Law & Order and the TV version of Uncle Buck. 

Ford's career in film, television and theater spanned more than two decades. His film appearances through the years include Harlem Nights with Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor, Night and the City with Robert De Niro and Class Act with Kid 'n Play.

Recently, he branched out as a motivational speaker. 

Word of his death spread quickly, flooding social media with tributes from fans and celebrities, which led to his name trending worldwide on Twitter.

Read more: Hollywood's Notable Deaths of 2016