- Thomas Jefferson Byrd, a 70-year old actor and Tony-award winning performer, was shot to death in Atlanta, Georgia
- Byrd was found by police in the early hours of Saturday morning, unresponsive and with multiple gunshot wounds
- Byrd was well-known for his performances in Spike Lee films and the director took to Instagram to mourn the loss of his friend and fellow artist
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Thomas Jefferson Byrd, a stage and film actor who was widely-recognised for his performances in films directed by Spike Lee, was found shot to death on an Atlanta street in the American state of Georgia.
The New York Times reported that police had responded to an emergency call in the early hours of Saturday morning about "an injured person". Authorities arrived and found Mr Byrd to be unresponsive with multiple gunshot wounds to his back. It was announced that leads for the suspect are being investigated and that Mr Byrd died as a result of the gunshots.
Many industry colleagues expressed their sorrows and remorse at hearing the news on social media.
READ ALSO: Tumisho Masha playing an American sheriff in new Halloween horror film
Mr Byrd received an outpouring from fans of his work, as well as from people who had worked alongside him. Notably, Viola Davis shared her mourning on social media, writing:
@violadavis: "Oh no!!! 2020! Whaaattt!!! Loved working with you Byrd. What a fine actor you were. So sorry your life ended this way. Praying for your family. So very sorry."
Byrd starred in three of Spike Lee's films, leading the director to post multiple pictures and memories on Instagram that celebrated the late star's talent and personality. Lee ended the series of photos with, "May Brother Byrd Be Flying Through Those Heavenly Pearly Gates."
In more light-hearted movie-related news, Briefly.co.za recently reported on Tumisho Masha playing an American sheriff in a new horror film.
The film stars Omari Hardwick and Loretta Devine and follows the spooky story of a father being nursed to health after surviving a plane crash, but finding suspicious behaviour of the couple helping him. Masha is credited as playing the role of "Sheriff" in the story.
The South African actor posted the trailer for the horror movie, titled Spell, to his social media accounts. Masha can be seen in a snippet of the trailer in his character and got fans excited about the role and his working alongside Hollywood heavyweights. The film is set to be released in time for Halloween and tweeps are keen to see Tumisho Masha act American.
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