Authorities said on Sunday that Thomas Jefferson Byrd, a Tony-nominated actor known for his roles in several Spike Lee movies, was shot dead on Atlanta street. Actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd was shot dead in Georgia on Saturday morning, according to Atlanta police. spokesperson Anthony Grant.
Officers answered the phone of an injured person in southwest Atlanta. The police said Byrd was unconscious when the officers arrived.
Thomas Jefferson Byrd Age
He was 70 years old.
Thomas Jefferson Byrd Shot & Dead
Police spokesman Anthony Grant said Mr Byrd, 70, was found “unresponsive” by Atlanta police officers who answered a call on Saturday about an injured person. Mr. Grant, it was declared that Mr. Byrd died from “multiple gunshot wounds from behind”.
Mr. Byrd’s friend and former representative, Craig Wyckoff, said on Sunday that Mr. Byrd got into an argument with someone in a store and talked to a “circle of friends” who said “this person must have followed him home.” Police said the case was under investigation and refused to verify this account.
Police say 70-year-old Byrd died at the scene with multiple bullet wounds.
His death and the circumstances around him are under investigation.
Thomas Jefferson Byrd Early Life & Career
Byrd was born in Griffin south of Atlanta, according to IMDb. He received a bachelor’s degree from Morris Brown College in Atlanta and a master’s degree from the California Institute of the Arts.
Byrd was a stage actor, according to IMDb. Lee said in an Instagram post that he worked with director Spike Lee on many projects such as “He Got Game”, “Get on the Bus” and “Clockers” as a movie actress.
In a serial post to Instagram, Mr. Lee said, “Too Sad to Announce the Tragic Murder of Our Beloved Brother,” and highlighted Mr. Byrd’s roles in movies such as “Clockers” (1995), “Chi-Raq” (2015). ) and “Bamboozled” (2000).
Mr. Lee wrote, “Rest in peace, Brother Byrd.”
Mr. Byrd also starred in the 1996 film “Set It Off” and was nominated for a 2003 Tony Award for his role in August Wilson’s Broadway portrayal of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”. (A television adaptation co-starring Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman, who died in August, is coming to Netflix.)
“I loved working with you, Byrd,” Ms. Davis wrote in a tweet on Sunday. What a good player you were. I’m so sorry your life ended this way. ”
A criticism of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” magazine in Variety in 2003 hailed Mr. Byrd as “a unique delight in the role of Toledo, the verbally meticulous pianist distributing African history and local philosophy nuggets”.
“The first set of Byrd’s mouth and the impressive gymnastics of his eyebrows gently accentuate the more magnificent aspects of Toledo,” wrote commentator Charles Isherwood, “but it brings Toledo’s natural measure of weight towards more painfully authentic thoughts.”
Mr. Wyckoff said that in recent years Mr. Byrd began teaching acting while trying to “get his personal life together” after a series of personal struggles.
Mr. Byrd’s friend and actor Nasser Metcalfe said he was “impressed by his humility.” Before the two met, both actors met with the audience in the “Clockers” show at a theater in Atlanta.
This was not a demonstration, said Mr. Metcalfe, “showing only 8 o’clock in the local multi-storey hall.”
When the movie ended, some of the people sitting next to Mr. Byrd stood up and applauded him. Mr. Byrd accepted his praise “very modestly” but did not want the spotlight to be on him.
“He appreciated the love, but did not necessarily want to be the center of attention,” said Mr. Metcalfe in a phone call Sunday.
Mr. Byrd plays the role of Abner, the father figure of a group of ex-slaves, in the upcoming movie “The Way to Freedom” about the Underground Railroad.
Information about Mr. Byrd’s survivors was not immediately available.
Mr. Metcalfe said he was born in Florida and raised in Georgia.
Mr. Byrd graduated with a degree from Morris Brown College, historically Black liberal arts college in Atlanta. He later gained a master of dance fine arts from the California Institute of the Arts.
Mr. the opposite of what you play. ”
Mr. Byrd “has become more introverted,” said Mr. Metcalfe later in his life.
“It was on the path of spiritual self-discovery, so to speak, more than trying to book the next job,” he said.
However, Mr. Metcalfe said, “Spike was there when he called.”
When the two first met at an Atlanta restaurant where Mr. Metcalfe worked, Mr. Byrd advised him to “just focus on your business.” In the early 2000s, when Mr. Byrd moved to New York for his role on Broadway, the actors lived two blocks from each other in Harlem. He said they would read the scripts together.
“His generosity had no limits,” said Metcalfe. That was the man.