Many people have wondered if the legendary comedian Redd Foxx and the Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx are related. After all, they share a similar surname and a talent for making people laugh. However, the truth is that they are not related by blood or by marriage. In fact, Foxx is not even their real surname. So how did they end up with the same stage name? Here is the story behind the Foxx connection.
Redd Foxx: The King of the Party Records
Redd Foxx was born John Elroy Sanford on December 9, 1922, in St. Louis, Missouri. He was raised by his grandmother and his minister in Chicago’s South Side. He had two older brothers, Fred Jr. and Leonard, who died shortly after his birth. He attended DuSable High School with future Chicago mayor Harold Washington.
Foxx began his career as a comedian in the 1940s, performing on the “chitlin circuit” of African American nightclubs. He adopted the name Redd Foxx because of his reddish hair and as a tribute to baseball star Jimmie Foxx. He also befriended Malcolm X, who was then known as Malcolm Little, when they worked as dishwashers at Jimmy’s Chicken Shack in Harlem.
Foxx became famous for his raunchy and risqué humor, which he recorded on more than 50 albums. He was known as the “King of the Party Records” because his albums were popular among African American audiences but considered too vulgar for mainstream stores. Some of his catchphrases were “You gotta wash your ass” and “I’m coming, Elizabeth”, which he later used on his TV show.
Jamie Foxx: The Multitalented Star
Jamie Foxx was born Eric Marlon Bishop on December 13, 1967, in Terrell, Texas. He was adopted and raised by his maternal grandparents, Mark and Estelle Talley. He played quarterback for his high school team and studied music in college. He released his first album, Peep This, in 1994.
Foxx started his career as a stand-up comedian in the late 1980s. He chose the name Jamie Foxx for two reasons. First, he noticed that female comedians were more likely to get stage time on open mic nights, so he picked a gender-neutral name. Second, he wanted to pay homage to his favorite comedian, Redd Foxx.
Foxx rose to fame as a cast member of the sketch comedy show In Living Color from 1991 to 1994. He then starred in his own sitcom, The Jamie Foxx Show, from 1996 to 2001. He also appeared in several movies, such as Booty Call, Ali, and Collateral.
Foxx achieved critical acclaim for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the biopic Ray in 2004. He won the Academy Award, the Golden Globe Award, the BAFTA Award, and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor for his performance. He also earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Collateral that same year.
Foxx continued to showcase his versatility as an actor, singer, and comedian in various projects. Some of his notable films include Dreamgirls, Miami Vice, Horrible Bosses, Django Unchained, Annie, Baby Driver, and Soul. He also released four more albums that charted on the Billboard 200: Unpredictable, Intuition, Best Night of My Life, and Hollywood: A Story of a Dozen Roses.
The Foxx Legacy
Redd Foxx and Jamie Foxx may not be related by blood or by marriage, but they are connected by their admiration and respect for each other’s work. Redd Foxx influenced many comedians with his groundbreaking and edgy style of comedy. Jamie Foxx honored him by choosing his stage name and by narrating a documentary about his life.
Both men have left their mark on the entertainment industry with their remarkable talents and achievements. They have also inspired generations of fans with their humor and charisma. They are truly two of a kind.