Thomas Lee Coard, 64, machinist and actor


Thomas Lee Coard, a retired machinist and actor, died from stroke complications Sunday at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The Parkton resident was 64.

Mr. Coard was born in Baltimore and raised in the Howard Park neighborhood. He was a 1958 graduate of Forest Park High School. After serving briefly as an Air Force photographer, he attended what is now Towson University.

He was employed as a research machinist for 25 years at the university. He worked in the science and mathematics departments and helped students fabricate parts used to build telescopes. He retired in 2002.

Earlier, he had been an optical tester at the Johns Hopkins University and Muffaletto Optics Co. in Baltimore.

Mr. Coard's interests included playing jazz piano, sailing, collecting model trains and drawing cartoons.

He was a supporting actor in a 1999 horror movie produced and directed by Conrad Brooks, a Baltimore-born independent filmmaker.

"I met him through a mutual friend and, after a few martinis, I offered him the hobo role in Jan-Gel: Beast From The East," said Mr. Brooks, who lives in Inwood, W.Va.

"Tommy had a great character face and had always wanted to do motion pictures. I had several other projects in mind for him ... but his health began to fail."

He added: "Tommy was a good actor who loved performing and was always nice to work with."

Services are private.

Mr. Coard is survived by a sister, Margaret L. Coard of Parkton.

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