Who Is Jamie Foxx?
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 TV's In Living Color in the early 1990s. He then proved himself as a dramatic actor, starring 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, its single "Infatuation" attracting attention from listeners and radio stations.
That same year, Foxx left In Living Color, but in 1996 he returned to television with The Jamie Foxx Show, playing a struggling Los Angeles actor who lives in a hotel owned by his aunt and uncle.
Big Screen Acclaim
By the time his show ended in 2001, Foxx was beginning to be viewed as 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. The recording reached the top of the pop, 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 West and Lil Wayne, among others. The album's second single, "Blame It," hit No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
Foxx enjoyed more success with his follow-up albums Best Night of My Life (2010) and Hollywood: A Story of a Dozen Roses (2015).
After teaming up with Colin Farrell for Michael Mann's big screen adaptation of the popular 1980s cop show Miami Vice (2006), 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 transforms Early's backup singers, the Dreamettes, into an all-female supergroup. The film is loosely based on the '60s pop group the Supremes.
Foxx featured prominently 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 then starred in 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 (2011), 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 teams up with a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) to find his wife (Kerry Washington) and face off against the plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) who has her captive. The cast also included Samuel L. Jackson and Jonah Hill.
More recently Foxx appeared in the 2013 action film White House Down, playing the role of President Sawyer. In 2014, he starred as the villain Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, reprised his character of Nico for Rio 2 and took on the role of the Daddy Warbucks-like William Stacks for a remake of Annie.
Following this busy year, Foxx took a break from film, before resurfacing in 2017 with the crime films Sleepless and Baby Driver.
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