Thomas Jefferson Byrd | Srivideo
Thomas Jefferson Byrd
Born/Date of Birth: 1950
Place of Birth: Griffin, Georgia, U.S.
Died: October 3, 2020, Atlanta, Georgia
Education: Morris Brown College, California Institute of the Arts
Thomas Jefferson Byrd (d. October 3, 2020) 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 in Set It Off, Ray, and Brooklyn's Finest.
After an emergency call was made in Atlanta, Georgia, around 1:45 a.m. on October 4, 2020, Byrd was found unresponsive with multiple gunshot wounds in his back and pronounced dead by local paramedics. A spokesperson for Atlanta police said that homicide detectives were "working to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident."