Reports that Tommy Ford had died shot across Twitter on Wednesday morning, but family members of the Martin actor spoke out to say that he is still alive after suffering an aneurysm — but he’s not expected to make it through the day.
Ford was famous for his role as Tommy, the friend of Martin Lawrence on the popular 1990s comedy. Ford was hospitalized over the weekend after an aneurysm ruptured in his abdomen, TMZ reported, but rumors began spreading on Wednesday that Tommy Ford had actually died.
Family members have since clarified that Ford is still alive but in grave condition.
“Ford has been hospitalized since Sunday and his health has declined ever since,” TMZ noted. “He is currently on life support and is not expected to make it through the day.”
Those premature reports of Ford’s death were traced back to actor Anthony Anderson, who is a friend of Tommy Ford. Early on Wednesday, Anderson told fans that Ford had, in fact, passed away. That tweet was since removed, and Anderson replaced it with a clarification and apology. However, by then, the reports of Ford’s death were already spreading.
“Yes I was given misinformation about our friend. That’s why the tweet was removed. We are all still praying for Tommy. He needs us even more,” Anderson wrote.
The tweet also prompted a number of media outlets to publish stories claiming that Ford had died, most of which were retracted after reports clarified that Tommy Ford was not dead.
Anderson wrote another tweet an hour later, asking fans to keep praying for Tommy Ford. Many saw the tweet as a sad sign of Ford’s health, however.
Aside from his work on Martin, Tommy Ford also appeared in a number of movies, including Harlem Nights and alongside Kid ‘n Play in Class Act. He has since been involved in business ventures, including selling his own brand of bow ties.
This is not the first time this year that a false report has prematurely claimed the life of an ailing celebrity. Back in May, rumors spread that 83-year-old musician Little Richard was on his deathbed with an undisclosed health crisis, including some reports that he had died.
The reports spread for nearly a day before friends and family members refuted them, noting that the singer was still in good health. Friend William Sobel, who has also served as Little Richard’s attorney for the last 30 years, even told Rolling Stone that Little Richard was “still singing.”
“I just spoke to him today,” Sobel told the magazine. “He said, ‘You know, I want you to talk to [the press] because I’m really annoyed. This thing started on Facebook. Not only is my family not gathering around me because I’m ill, but I’m still singing. I don’t perform like I used to, but I have my singing voice, I walk around, I had hip surgery a while ago but I’m healthy.'”
Sobel said that Little Richard had undergone hip surgery that slowed him down in recent years, but that he is still “vivacious and conversant about a ton of different things and he’s still very active in a daily routine.”
Like the recent rumors that Tommy Ford had died, the rumors about Little Richard started with a tweet from a famous friend. Fellow musician Bootsy Collins had posted a message on Facebook telling fans to pray for Little Richard.
“He is not in the best of health so I ask all the Funkateers to lift him up,” he wrote.
Aside from the update that he has not died and the clarification that he is near death, there are few details on the exact condition of Tommy Ford.
[Featured Image by Tommy Ford/Instagram]