Thomas Jefferson Byrd  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Thomas Jefferson Byrd (25 June 1950 – 3 October 2020) was an American actor who worked several times with director Spike Lee.


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.


Year Title Role Notes
1995 Clockers Errol Barnes
1996 Girl 6 Caller #18
1996 Get on the Bus Evan Thomas Sr.
1996 Set It Off Luther
1997 Touch Me Country Doctor
1998 He Got Game Sweetness
1998 Bulworth Uncle Rafeeq
2000 Trois Thomas
2000 Bamboozled Honeycutt
2001 MacArthur Park Cody
2002 Never Get Outta the Boat William Ellis
2002 The Kudzu Christmas Reverend Burton
2004 X, Y Marcus
2004 Ray Jimmy
2009 Brooklyn's Finest Uncle Jeb
2010 Bronx Paradise Jimmy
2012 Red Hook Summer Deacon Zee
2014 Da Sweet Blood of Jesus Bishop Zee
2015 Chi-Raq Apollo
2020 Freedom's Path Abner Posthumous release; Final film role

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Thomas Jefferson Byrd" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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