Beloved African-American actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd was found murdered in Georgia on the morning of Saturday, October 3rd, 2020. According to CNN, the 70-year-old was found shot multiple times in the back, and was dead on the scene when the police arrived.
Movies That Thomas Jefferson Byrd Played In
Thomas Jefferson Byrd had a knack for playing characters that were the bad guy. He had those huge eyes and unique swagger that made him the perfect person for those roles. Being that in actuality he was a really nice, kind-hearted southern gentleman, the characters that he played were way outside of his original personality, which made him a wonderfully powerful screen actor in so many films.
For example, one of Thomas Jefferson Byrd’s most memorable characters was in the 1996 film Set It Off, starring Jada Pinkett Smith as “Stony”, Queen Latifah as “Cleo”, Vivica A. Fox as “Frankie”, and Kimberly Elise in her debut roll “Tisean aka T.T.”. It was a movie about four black women who were all going through financial troubles, and decided that they would start robbing banks.
Byrd’s character was named “Luther”, and he had a janitorial service that all four of the girls worked at. Luther was cold-hearted, foul-mouthed, brash, and would dock their pay any chance he got. One of the most memorable scenes is when he asked the girls who had Room 104 to clean, because somebody had forgotten to take the trash out. It ended up being the shyest one of the group, T.T. “I’m docking your pay!” he said. That’s when Cleo (Queen Latifah) jumped in to stand up for her, and Luther says “Who the f*** you supposed to be!? Mother f****** Mighty Morphin Power Rangers??! What you gonna do about it?! I’m docking her pay!!”
One of the most menacing characters that he’s ever played was on a movie called Clockers, which hit the big screen in the year 1995, and starred Mekhi Phifer as a street Hustler named Strike. Byrd’s character was a scary dude from the neighborhood, a heroin addict named Errol Barnes.
A very popular scene in that movie is when Errol see’s Strike walking up the street, and the addict has a gun tucked in clear sight in the front of his pants. He asks Strike does he have fifty bucks, pats down his pockets, and explains to Strike that he didn’t get AIDS because he was a homosexual, but because he started doing heroin and contracted the disease from needles. There’s another scene where Errol almost puts a cigarette out in a boy’s face, but that same little boy kills him during the course of the movie, shooting him in broad daylight.
Thomas Jefferson Byrd has played in dozens of movies during the course of his career, and was one of the most influential Black actors of his time.
The Investigation of Thomas Jefferson Byrd’s Death
The death of Thomas Jefferson Byrd is one that comes as a shock to the entertainment world. There’s an ongoing investigation into his shooting, and the circumstances of it are currently being looked into.