(CNN)Actor Tommy Ford, best known for his role as Tommy in the 1990s hit sitcom “Martin,” has died in Atlanta, a spokeswoman for his family said.
He was 52.
No cause of death was announced, and the family released a statement Wednesday asking for privacy.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the untimely passing of our beloved son, father, brother, husband, and friend Tommy Mykhal Ford,” the statement said. “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 had been documenting on social media his recovery from knee replacement surgery shortly before his death.
The Los Angeles native was a graduate of the University of Southern California’s Fine Arts Acting Program, according to the actor’s site.
His first character role on television was as Lamar Collins on “A Different World.” He would go on to have other parts in television and films, including the 1989 Eddie Murphy movie “Harlem Nights.”
But his role as Tommy Strawn, straight man to Martin Lawrence’s jokester character on “Martin,” made Ford a star.
Lawrence mourned the loss of his friend, joining the flood of fans who paid tribute to him on Twitter.
“We were friends way b4 the Martin show & showed tru friendship on-screen,” Lawrence tweeted. “You brought a lot of love 2 the world & you’ll be greatly missed.”