Actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd, known for his roles in Set if Off, He Got Game and many other films, has passed away. Spike Lee revealed the sad news on his Instagram and claimed that the actor was murdered on October 3, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. On Instagram, the Brooklyn filmmaker captioned a black-and-white pic sending his condolences while also naming all of the Spike Lee Joints Byrd starred in.
I’m So Sad To Announce The Tragic Murder Of Our Beloved Brother Thomas Jefferson Byrd Last Night In Atlanta ,Georgia. Tom Is My Guy ,Here Below You See Him As The Frightening Character Errol Barnes In 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 And CLOCKERS. May We All Wish Condolences And Blessings To His Family. Rest In Peace Brother Byrd.
TMZ reported that police received a call around 1:45 a.m on October 3 and then found Byrd unresponsive with gunshot wounds in his back.
According to his IMDb, Byrd was born in 1941 in Griffin, Georgia. He was a graduate of the historical black college Morris Brown College and a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated. He also received a Master of Fine Arts degree in dance from California Institute of the Arts. Besides snagging roles on the big screen, he also starred in plays. He had roles in plays like “Spunk,” Samm-Art Evans’ “Home,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Hamlet,” “Flyin’ West,” “Two Trains Running” and “The Piano Lesson.” He was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor for a revival of August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” in 2003.
Other acting credits Byrd had included Spike Lee’s Netflix adaption of She’s Got to Have It!, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Last O.G, Boycott, Bamboozled, Bulworth, Lackawanna Blues and In The Heat of the Night.
Byrd was 79-years-old. We send our condolences to Byrd’s family.