Born Eric Morlon Bishop on December 13, 1967, in Terrell, Texas, Jamie Foxx has emerged as one of the most diversely talented entertainers of his generation. Foxx started out landing a spot on the TV's In Living Color in the early 1990s. He then proved himself as a dramatic actor, appearing in Ray in 2004, a role that earned him an Academy Award. Two years later, Foxx impressed music fans with his hit collabration with Kanye West for the song "Gold Digger." More recently, he starred in Quentin Tarantino's western Django Unchained (2012).
A talented singer, comedian, and actor, Academy Award-winner Jamie Foxx has proved to be a triple threat in the entertainment industry. After his parents' marriage dissolved, Foxx was adopted by his maternal grandparents when he was less than a year old. He enjoyed sports and music as a child, and attended Terrell High School in his hometown.
After receiving a scholarship, Foxx enrolled at the U.S. International University in San Diego where he majored in music. It was during college that he was encouraged by friends to take the open mike one night at a comedy club, and his career in entertainment began.
In Living Color
Leaving college, Foxx moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in comedy. In 1991, he was hired as a regular cast member on the Fox variety show In Living Color. Foxx also explored his interest in music during the 1990s, releasing the album Peep This, in 1994. With its traditional, smooth R&B sound, the album reached as high as No. 12 on the R&B and hip-hop charts with the single, "Infatuation," attracting some attention from listeners and radio stations.
That same year, Foxx left In Living Color, but he soon returned to television. Because of his huge popularity on the show, the network gave him his own series, The Jamie Foxx Show, in 1996. Foxx played a struggling Los Angeles actor who lived in a hotel owned by his aunt and uncle. During the show's five years on the air, his character had an on-again, off-again relationship with the front desk clerk played by Garcelle Beauvais.
Big Screen Debut
By the time the show ended in 2001, Foxx was beginning to be viewed a talented dramatic actor. This was due in large part to his performance in the sports drama Any Given Sunday (1999). Playing football star Willie Beamen, Foxx showed incredible range in his performance and held his own against one of film's greats Al Pacino. His next notable film role was in Michael Mann's Ali, followed by two powerful performances in 2004: opposite Tom Cruise in the thriller Collateral and starring in the eagerly anticipated biopic Ray. Foxx earned both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe award for his authentic turn as Ray Charles.
Following Ray, Foxx took an interesting array of roles with mixed results. The military action film Stealth (2005) with Josh Lucas and Jessica Biel was a critical and financial dud. That same year, he garnered some critical praise for his turn as a marine serving in the Middle East in Jarhead (2005) with Jake Gyllenhaal, but the movie failed to attract much of an audience.
Commercial Success as a Musician
In 2006, Foxx released a new album, Unpredictable (2006). The recording reached the top of pop and the R&B and hip-hop charts, driven by the title track single, "DJ Play a Love Song," and "Can I Take You Home." At the 2006 Black Entertainment Television Awards, Foxx won Best Duet/Collaboration with Kanye West for his work on the single "Gold Digger." Foxx released his third album, Intuition, in 2008, which featured Kanye West and Lil Wayne, among others. The album's second single, "Blame It," hit No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
More Recent Roles
Foxx also teamed up with Colin Farrell for Michael Mann's big screen adaptation of the popular 1980s cop show Miami Vice (2006). Returning to his dramatic and musical roots, Foxx co-starred in Dreamgirls (2006) with Jennifer Hudson and Beyoncé. He played a scheming car saleman who becomes a manager for R&B star James Thunder Early (played by Eddie Murphy). His character then transformed Early's backup singers, the Dreamettes, into an all-female supergroup. The film is loosely based on the 60s pop group the Supremes.
Returning more action-oriented fare, Foxx starred in The Kingdom (2007), a thriller about a terrorist attack on Americans in Saudi Arabia. In 2009 Foxx portrayed Nathaniel Ayers in the drama The Soloist with Robert Downey Jr. and as Nick Rice in the film Law Abiding Citizen.
Returing to lighter fare, Foxx appeared in the 2010 romantic comedy Valentine's Day with Jessica Biel and Jennifer Garner. He also had a supporting role in the workplace comedy Horrible Bosses starring Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey and lent his voice to the animated children's film Rio the following year.
In late 2012, Foxx burst back onto the big screen with a leading role in Quentin Tarantino's action western Django Unchained. He starred as Django, a freed slave who teamed up with a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) and learned his trade. Django then searched for his wife, played by Kerry Washington, and had to face off against the plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) who had her as his slave. The cast also included Samuel L. Jackson and Jonah Hill.
More recently Foxx appeared in the 2013 action film White House Down co-starring with Channing Tatum. He played the role of President Sawyer in the film. In 2014, he starred as the villain Electro in the The Amazing Spider-Man 2 alongside Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. He also lent his voice to the character Nico in the animated film Rio 2.
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