Teaching Students About Tommy Ford: An Insight into His Life and Career

Introduction: Thomas Mikal Ford, better known as Tommy Ford, was a talented American actor and comedian who made a lasting impact on the entertainment industry. He was a beloved figure that gifted the world with captivating performances and memorable roles. Educating students about Tommy Ford can help them appreciate his work, understand how he influenced popular culture, and learn valuable life lessons. In this article, we will explore various aspects of his life and career that can be covered while teaching students about Tommy Ford.

Early Life:

Tommy Ford was born on September 5, 1964, in Los Angeles, California. Teaching students about his upbringing and early experiences provides insight into the foundation of his career. Encourage students to explore his passion for acting and his journey to fame.


Tommy Ford’s acting career spanned over 30 years in both television and films. His most iconic role was as Thomas “Tommy” Strawn in the hit 90’s sitcom “Martin.” Teaching students about his role in this groundbreaking show offers an opportunity to discuss race relations, popular culture of the time, and the impact of an influential sitcom in shaping American entertainment. Supplement this discussion with other notable roles he played such as Mel Parker on UPN’s “The Parkers” or Lt. Malcolm Barker on New York Undercover.

Personal Life & Values:

Helping students understand the values and personal beliefs of Tommy Ford can provide them with a deeper understanding of his creative process and overall character. Emphasize his work ethic and dedication to the craft as an essential aspect of his success. Educate students about how he gave back to society by volunteering at several non-profit organizations that helped disadvantaged youths.


Though Tommy Ford faced many challenges throughout his life, including health issues that ultimately led to his untimely passing in October 2016, he will long be remembered for his contributions to entertainment. By highlighting his legacy and lifelong achievements, students can learn about the importance of perseverance, dedication to one’s passion, and maintaining a strong work ethic. These are valuable lessons applicable not only in the realm of the entertainment industry but in all aspects of life.


Tommy Ford was more than just an actor – he was an influential figure whose work resonated with millions of people worldwide. Teaching students about his life, career, values, and legacy equips them with valuable knowledge about an iconic figure who has left an indelible mark on popular culture. As educators, it is our responsibility to ensure that a new generation appreciates the craft and contributions of talented individuals like Tommy Ford.