Thomas Jefferson Byrd Wiki – Thomas Jefferson Byrd Biography
Thomas Jefferson Byrd was an American character actor who worked several times with director Spike Lee. He was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in the 2003 Broadway revival of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Byrd earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Morris Brown College and later received a Master of Fine Arts degree in dance from California Institute of the Arts.
Byrd starred in numerous regional stage productions including the San Diego Repertory Theatre’s award-winning performance of Spunk. He also starred in Home by Samm-Art Evans, Two Trains Running, The Piano Lesson and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at the Alliance Theater, Flyin’ West, Hamlet and Miss Evers’ Boys at the Indiana Repertory, and in other productions of Flyin’ West at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and at the Long Wharf Theatre.
For his Broadway debut, a performance in the 2003 revival of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Byrd received a Tony Award nomination for best featured actor.
Byrd appeared in several films by Spike Lee, including Clockers, Get on the Bus, Bamboozled, Red Hook Summer, and Chi-Raq. Byrd also appeared as Stokely Darling in Lee’s Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It. His other films credits include Set It Off, Ray, and Brooklyn’s Finest.
Byrd appears in many reviews of theater plays by critics, where he is often pointed out and praised for his performances. In a 2003 article by Nasser Metcalfe about “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Metcalfe writes of Byrd: “Among the supporting cast, Thomas Jefferson Byrd is a standout as Toledo. As a veteran of stage and screen, Byrd is able to establish an inherent connection to the material that allows him to make every moment full and every line ring with truth and conviction.”
In a review of “Spunk” by the Los Angeles Times, Byrd’s performance is described as bringing “a ragged edge of danger” to his character. Another review of “Spunk” described his role: “[His] rubber limbs carry him gracefully from whip-wielding philanderer to ‘puffin’ and bluffin” gigolo in the spoofy, high-energy ‘Story in Harlem Slang.’”
Leo Weekly described his role in “Gem of the Ocean” as “engaging” and called the play the “best theatrical offering of the season.”
Thomas Jefferson Byrd Age
Thomas Jefferson Byrd was 70 years old. He was born in 1950, in Griffin, Georgia, United States.
Thomas’s wife is information is unclear. We’ll update you soon.
Cause of Death
Actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd was murdered on Saturday night in Atlanta, Georgia, director Spike Lee announced on Instagram on Sunday. The director, who’d worked with Byrd on many movies, wrote, “I’m So Sad To Announce The Tragic Murder Of Our Beloved Brother Thomas Jefferson Byrd Last Night In Atlanta, Georgia. … May We All Wish Condolences And Blessings To His Family. Rest In Peace Brother Byrd.”
TMZ reported that the Atlanta Police Department responded to a call reporting an injured person at 1:45 a.m. According to the outlet, Byrd was found with multiple gunshot wounds to his back and was unresponsive. Emergency responders pronounced him dead. An investigation is ongoing, the outlet adds.
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Heavy reached out to the Atlanta Police Department for more information but did not immediately hear back.
Many people took to Spike Lee’s post to share tributes and express their shock at the news. One fan wrote, “What???? Damn.. I just watched Set It Off the other day…” Another added, “So tragic. His monologue in Clockers with Meki Pheif still gives me chills everytime I watch it. Truly talented actor.” One person said, “You have got to be kidding me. I can’t RIP not one more time this year.”
On Twitter, actor and comedian Jay Washington posted a tribute:
Rest In Peace to the legendary Thomas Jefferson Byrd seen here with me and the iconic Spike Lee. I had the honor of working with Mr. Byrd in CHI-RAQ but enjoyed much of his work SHES GOTTA HAVE IT, SET IT OFF, "Niggas is a beautiful thing" in BAMBOOZLED and so much more. pic.twitter.com/7BiC40N6Yf
— Jay Washington San Diego,CA JAN 11TH (@MrJayWashington) October 4, 2020
Brandon Caldwell of Radio One Houston wrote: “long live the art created by thomas jefferson byrd, a captivating character actor in spike lee films and famously, the antagonist who helped set the plot of set it off in motion. ‘IF YOU DON’T WANNA WORK FOR LUTHERS!’ a tragedy he was murdered in Atlanta.”
Another fan added, “Saddened to hear about the tragic loss of such a gifted actor: Thomas Jefferson Byrd. I’ve been a huge fan of his for years. Sending my condolences to his family and friends.”