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Redd Foxx was the stage name of John Elroy Sanford, an American comedian and actor best known for his role on the 1970s sitcom Sanford and Son.
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According to the Los Angeles Times, Foxx said "The show is lighthearted, doesn't drive home a lesson, but it can open up peoples' minds enough for them to see how stupid every kind of prejudice can be."
After five years, Foxx left NBC for ABC. He starred in The Redd Foxx Comedy Hour, which didn't last for long. Foxx tried to capitalize on his earlier success,
reprising the role of Fred Sanford in Sanford in 1980. But the sitcom failed to catch on with audiences. Despite the decline of his television career, Foxx remained a popular live act, especially in Las Vegas.
Foxx spent his later years trying to cope with financial problems. In 1983, he filed for bankruptcy. Foxx's career got a boost from his appearance in the 1989 film Harlem Nights with Eddie Murphy. Unfortunately, the Internal Revenue Service seized some of his personal property that same year to recoup money owed by Foxx for taxes.
Still Foxx seemed to be on an upswing by the early 1990s. He landed a new sitcom called The Royal Family with Della Reese, which debuted in the fall of 1991. Foxx was working an episode of his series when he collapsed during a rehearsal on October 11, 1991. He was taken to a Los Angeles hospital where he later died. A heart attack was his cause of death. Foxx was 68 years old.
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