Saint Louis, Missouri, United States
Place of Death
Los Angeles, California, United States
Cause of Death
Claim to Fame
Sanford And Son, The Royal Family
Actor/Actress, Soundtrack, Writer
Has Detailed Data (New)
Profile Bio Text
Redd Foxx (December 9, 1922 – October 11, 1991), born John Elroy Sanford, was an American actor and comedian, best known for his starring role on the sitcom Sanford and Son. Foxx was born in St. Louis, Missouri and raised on Chicago`s South Side. His mother was half Seminole. His father, an electrician, left the family when Foxx was four. He was raised by his mother, his minister, and his grandmother. He briefly attended DuSable High School with future Chicago mayor Harold Washington, but never graduated. Moving to New York in the early 1940s, he was an associate of Malcolm Little later known as Malcolm X. In Malcolm`s autobiography, Foxx is referred to as "Chicago Red, the funniest dishwasher on this earth." Foxx earned the nickname due to his reddish hair and complexion. His second stage name was taken from baseball star Jimmie Foxx. In May 1967, Redd Foxx was the only artist to be invited to Elvis Presley`s wedding at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. The character of Fred Sanford was named after Foxx`s own brother, Fred, who had died. Foxx was in his early 50s when he played the 65-year-old Sanford.
He was also one of the first black comics to play to white audiences on the Las Vegas Strip. Foxx used his starring role on Sanford and Son to help get jobs for his friends such as LaWanda Page, Slappy White, Gregory Sierra, and Noriyuki "Pat" Morita. Foxx also battled with producers Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin for higher paychecks and creative control of the show. Writer Alan Rafkin touched on some of Foxx`s clashes with Lear and Yorkin in the book Cue the Bunny on the Rainbow. Foxx does not appear in six episodes at the end of the third season, and three at the beginning of the fourth, because of problems with producers. "Fred Sanford`s" best friend "Grady", played by Whitman Mayo, took his place.
Foxx appeared to be making a comeback with the 1991 series The Royal Family, in which he co-starred with his long-time friend Della Reese. During a break from rehearsals on October 11, 1991, a heart attack killed him on the set. Reportedly, Reese and the rest of the cast and crew thought he was doing his classic "I`m coming, Elizabeth" fake heart attack routine he made famous on Sanford and Son, even going as far as collapsing to the floor, although that was not part of the usual schtick. However, this heart attack was real, and Foxx never regained consciousness. He was 68 years old. Foxx was posthumously given a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame on May 17, 1992.
Redd Foxx was married 4 times. His first marriage was to Evelyn Killebrew in 1948, but was short-lived and ended in divorce in 1951. His second marriage was to Betty Jean Harris, a showgirl and dancer, who was a fellow dancer of LaWanda Page, who would later be known as Foxx`s TV rival Aunt Esther on Sanford & Son. The couple wed on July 22, 1956. Foxx adopted Harris` daughter Debreca Foxx, who was about 9 years old at the time. The marriage ended in divorce in 1975. Foxx then married Chinese-American Yun Chi Chung in 1976, but the marriage was again short-lived, ending in 1981. At the time of his death in 1991, Foxx was married to Ka Ho Cho.
Couple Profile Source
Full Name at Birth
John Elroy Sanford
Count - Awards
Colt 45 (spokesperson)
Has Detailed Data (Music)
John Elroy Sanford (December 9, 1922 – October 11, 1991), known professionally as Redd Foxx, was an American comedian and actor, best remembered for his explicit comedy records and his starring role on the 1970s sitcom Sanford and Son.
Page Display = 2 (Legacy)
Brown - Dark
DuSable High School, Chicago, IL (dropped out)
(1970s) TV commercial: Ball Park Franks
Gruff, deep voice
www.nndb.com/people/698/000022632/, www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=2704, www.reddfoxx.com/
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