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Foxx, Redd (1922–1991)

harlem comedy sanford comic

FOXX, REDD (1922–1991). Comedian, actor. He was born John Elroy Sanford and began performing comedy on the “chitlin circuit” of black theaters and nightclubs while he was still in his teens. For a stage name, he combined his old nickname of Red, due to his light complexion, with the surname of his favorite baseball player, Jimmie Foxx. He recorded a series of explicit blues records in the mid 1940 before teaming up with fellow comic Slappy White to tour the club circuit. He cut a variety of comedy record albums that were so raunchy they often had to be sold under-the-counter. These controversial and groundbreaking records included Laff of the Party, Sly Sex, Laff Your Ass Off, Mr. Hot Pants , and Foxx A Delic . Foxx was one of the first comics to use four-letter words and blatant profanity on his major label releases. As his popularity grew and his audience expanded, he began to make television appearances, and landed his first film role in Cotton Comes to Harlem , 1970. He signed to do the television sitcom Sanford and Son , a concept reworked from the hit British TV show Steptoe and Son . It became very popular in 1972 and ran for five seasons. Other Foxx-based shows include Sanford, The Redd Foxx Show , and The Red Foxx Comedy Hour . In his live recording taped at the Apollo Theater in 1976, You Gotta Wash Your Ass , he continued to blend vulgarity with comedy, and again, it was a huge hit. After starring in Norman, Is That You? , 1976, he became a headliner in Las Vegas. Despite a dip in his popularity during the 1980s, Foxx has been a major influence on a whole new generation of African American comedians. Comic and mega-star Eddie Murphy cast Foxx and comedian Richard Pryor to co-star in his crime-noir film Harlem Nights , 1989, bringing three generations of top comic talent to the screen. With his career renewed, Foxx signed on to do the sitcom, The Royal Family , in 1991, shortly before he passed away.

Filmography: Cotton Comes to Harlem , 1970; Norman, Is That You? 1976; Harlem Nights , 1989.

Fracastoro, Girolamo [next] [back] Foxx, Jamie (1967–)

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