Thomas Jefferson Byrd, who appeared in nine Spike Lee films, has died in Atlanta, Georgia. The director shared on social media that Byrd was murdered and early reports say the actor was “unresponsive with multiple gunshot wounds to the back.” He was 70 years old.
“Tom Is My Guy,” wrote Lee, who first cast Byrd in 1995’s Clockers. “Brother Byrd Also Did His Thang In My Joints-CHI-RAQ, SWEET BLOOD OF JESUS, RED HOOK SUMMER, BAMBOOZLED, HE GOT GAME, GET ON THE BUS, GIRL 6.”
Although Byrd was a fave of Lee’s, the actor did appear in other classic Black films including Set It Off and Ray and as well as notable small screen gems such as Boycott, Lackawanna Blues and Mama Flora’s Family.
NEW YORK- FEBRUARY 6:(L-R) Charles Dutton, Whoopi Goldberg and Thomas Jefferson Byrd take their Opening Night Curtain Call for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” by August Wilson at the Royale Theatre on February 6, 2003 in New York City. (Photo By Bruce Glikas/Getty Images)
According to his biography on IMDB, Byrd received graduated from Morris Brown College and received a masters in dance from the California Institute of the Arts. The Georgia native would star on stage in several plays,…