ATLANTA -- Actor Tommy Ford passed away Wednesday afternoon, family members said.

Ford, 52, was best-known for playing the role of Martin Lawrence's best friend in the 1990s sitcom "Martin."

He had been in the hospital battling an unknown condition, a representative told 11Alive earlier Wednesday. Rumors had spread on social media that he had passed away, but the rep refuted those reports.

However, Jay Mathis PR later Tweeted that Ford passed away at 4:50 p.m, "surrounded by family and close friends."

Ford's family released a statement through the J. Pervis Talent Agency saying:

"It is with great sadness that we announce the untimely passing of our beloved Son, father, brother, husband, and friend Tommy Mykhal Ford. On behalf of the family, we would like to thank everyone for their love, support and prayers. Funeral arrangements will be forthcoming. Please respect the privacy of the Ford family during our time of grief”

In a photo posted on Ford's Instagram page, the following message was posted:

{"provider_url":"https://www.instagram.com","media_id":"1359718218595714176_259208749","author_name":"bigtommyford","height":null,"thumbnail_url":"https://scontent.cdninstagram.com/t51.2885-15/sh0.08/e35/p640x640/14727656_367489693589604_5892377856582877184_n.jpg?ig_cache_key=MTM1OTcxODIxODU5NTcxNDE3Ng%3D%3D.2","thumbnail_width":640,"thumbnail_height":799,"provider_name":"Instagram","title":"To all family and friends of Tommy Ford. We would like to inform everyone that our brother passed away today October 12, 2016 surrounded by his loving family. Please keep his family in your prayers as they go through this challenging time. He was so dearly loved by so many and for that lets all be grateful for a life well served.","html":"&#lt;blockquote class=\"instagram-media\" data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-version=\"7\" style=\" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);\"&#gt;&#lt;div style=\"padding:8px;\"&#gt; &#lt;div style=\" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:62.4537037037% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;\"&#gt; &#lt;div style=\" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAABGdBTUEAALGPC/xhBQAAAAFzUkdCAK7OHOkAAAAMUExURczMzPf399fX1+bm5mzY9AMAAADiSURBVDjLvZXbEsMgCES5/P8/t9FuRVCRmU73JWlzosgSIIZURCjo/ad+EQJJB4Hv8BFt+IDpQoCx1wjOSBFhh2XssxEIYn3ulI/6MNReE07UIWJEv8UEOWDS88LY97kqyTliJKKtuYBbruAyVh5wOHiXmpi5we58Ek028czwyuQdLKPG1Bkb4NnM+VeAnfHqn1k4+GPT6uGQcvu2h2OVuIf/gWUFyy8OWEpdyZSa3aVCqpVoVvzZZ2VTnn2wU8qzVjDDetO90GSy9mVLqtgYSy231MxrY6I2gGqjrTY0L8fxCxfCBbhWrsYYAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;\"&#gt;&#lt;/div&#gt;&#lt;/div&#gt; &#lt;p style=\" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;\"&#gt; &#lt;a href=\"https://www.instagram.com/p/BLesIQGBkSA/\" style=\" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;\" target=\"_blank\"&#gt;To all family and friends of Tommy Ford. We would like to inform everyone that our brother passed away today October 12, 2016 surrounded by his loving family. Please keep his family in your prayers as they go through this challenging time. He was so dearly loved by so many and for that lets all be grateful for a life well served.&#lt;/a&#gt;&#lt;/p&#gt; &#lt;p style=\" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;\"&#gt;A photo posted by Thomas Mikal Ford (@bigtommyford) on &#lt;time style=\" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;\" datetime=\"2016-10-12T22:24:24+00:00\"&#gt;Oct 12, 2016 at 3:24pm PDT&#lt;/time&#gt;&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;/div&#gt;&#lt;/blockquote&#gt;\n&#lt;script async defer src=\"//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js\"&#gt;&#lt;/script&#gt;","width":658,"version":"1.0","author_url":"https://www.instagram.com/bigtommyford","author_id":259208749,"type":"rich"}

TMZ.com also reported the news, saying Ford died in an Atlanta hospital of a brain aneurysm.

In addition to his role on "Martin", Ford also appeared in Harlem Nights and Across the Tracks.

RELATED | Celebs take to social media to remember "Martin" star Tommy Ford

PHOTOS: People we've lost in 2016