Tommy Futch Died: Beloved Laughing Matters Actor Gone Too Soon

Atlanta, GA – The Atlanta theater community is mourning the loss of one of its most beloved figures, actor Tommy Futch. Futch, best known for his work with the improv comedy troupe Laughing Matters, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 52.

Who was Tommy Futch?

Futch was a fixture in Atlanta’s vibrant theater scene for over two decades. He first made a name for himself performing with Dad’s Garage Theatre Company in the 1990s. His whip-smart improvisational skills and ability to create hilarious characters made him a standout even early in his career.

In 2003, Futch became one of the founding members of Laughing Matters. The troupe quickly became known for its unique blend of improv comedy and interactive murder mystery shows. Futch was a driving creative force behind many of Laughing Matters’ most popular productions.

“Tommy was the heart and soul of Laughing Matters,” said fellow cast member Amy Lawrence. “He could make you laugh until you cried, and then turn around and deliver an incredibly moving dramatic performance. His range was unbelievable.”

Beyond performing, Futch was passionate about comedy education. He served as an Acting Instructor at The Creative Circus, teaching aspiring improv performers and sketch comedy writers. Many of his students have gone on to successful careers in theater and television.

“Tommy was so generous with his time and knowledge,” said former student Tyler James. “He really pushed you to be your best, but also made you feel like you could get there. I never would have made it through my first year without his mentoring.”

While he was best known locally, Futch also had a handful of small roles in regional theater, films, and television shows shot around Atlanta. He played memorable supporting characters in productions at the Alliance Theater and Theatrical Outfit. His impressive improv skills also led to work doing stunt acting and motion capture work for video games produced in the city.

News of Futch’s death sent shockwaves through Atlanta’s tight-knit theater community. Many took to social media to express condolences and share memories of their time working with the beloved performer.

Tom Rittenhouse Shared a Memoria Post on Facebook by writing:-

Oh Tommy.

Over the past 16 or so years I have enjoyed working and playing with Tommy Futch. I have laughed so hard with him, and because of him. Some of the biggest laughs of my life.

I’ve loved reading every single tribute to our good friend. So many people are using the word “Legend” to describe him. It was the first word that came to my mind when I learned of his passing. The second word that came to my mind was “Grateful.” I am so grateful to have known him, to have loved him, to have been loved by him. He treated me like a son. And he treated me like an equal.

He is deservedly renowned as one of the funniest people to grace any stage, but one of Tommy’s greatest gifts was his ability to listen. I hope to always be able to remember his furled brow and laser focus when someone was speaking openly and vulnerably. He would often subconsciously mimic the speaker’s face, completely hanging on their every word.

He made me feel like the most important person in the room. And judging by the massive outpouring of homages I’ve read, he made dozens (hundreds?) of others feel the same way.

I want to go on an on about Tommy. About how he made everything look easy. About how no matter how badly an improv scene was tanking, he always seemed to know how to navigate it. About how he took genuine enjoyment in suing facilities with improper wheelchair access. About all of the people he helped. I hope to keep reading more of your beautiful tributes.

The last words I said to him were “I love you.” I’m thankful for that. And I am so, so grateful to have shared countless special moments with a first-ballot hall-of-fame Legend. There will never be another Tommy Futch and that’s exactly how it should be.

“Tommy was one of those people who lifted up everyone around him,” wrote actress Eliza Sanders on Twitter. “He made me laugh so hard I’d snort soda out my nose. But he could also hold space for you during tough times. This is a huge loss for our community.”

The cause of Futch’s untimely passing has not been released publicly. He is survived by his wife, Melissa, and two children. Laughing Matters has not yet announced how it will handle upcoming performances in the wake of this tragedy.

National Criminal Defense College Mourns Loss of Talented Actor

The National Criminal Defense College (NCDC) also released a statement mourning the loss of Futch, who frequently collaborated with the organization:

NCDC wrote on Facebook:-

With heavy hearts we write to share the sad news that our beloved friend Laughing Matters Actor Tommy Futch has passed away. He is familiar to many of us as the master of witness roles. He was always the toughest witness. Many a participant groaned audibly when Tommy came in to play a witness during their turn at the podium. If you could cross Tommy you could surely cross anyone. He had a wicked sense of humor and was an awesome improvisational talent.

We will miss Tommy. We all owe him a debt of gratitude for preparing us to take on the most difficult challenges in our work.

Rest in power Tommy.

NCDC performers often took part in simulated trial experiences with lawyers and legal professionals. Futch played challenging witness roles to help prepare them for rigorous courtroom cross-examinations.

The statement went on to say “He had a wicked sense of humor and was an awesome improvisational talent. We will miss Tommy. We all owe him a debt of gratitude for preparing us to take on the most difficult challenges in our work.”

Futch Leaves a Lasting Legacy

While his death leaves a void in Atlanta’s theater community, Tommy Futch’s legacy will live on through those he inspired and supported throughout his prolific career.

His commitment to both comedy and nurturing the next generation of talent has left an indelible mark on the city.

Laughing Matters and other Atlanta comedy institutions hope to honor Futch’s memory by continuing to push the art form forward. Many also hope to carry the passion for teaching and mentoring that Futch exemplified throughout his life.

“The best way we can remember Tommy is by passing on what he taught us,” said Lawrence. “He wouldn’t want us to stop pursuing comedy and forget to laugh. He would want us to keep making people smile, like he did for so many years.”

Though gone too soon, Tommy Futch’s humor and heart will continue bringing joy to stages across Atlanta for years to come thanks to the performers who proudly count themselves among those whose lives and careers were touched by this dynamic talent. Futch’s enduring gifts for improvisation, storytelling and connecting with audiences ensure his comedic spirit won’t be soon forgotten.

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