Foxx, Redd (b. John Elroy Sanford)(1922–91) comedian, television actor; born in St. Louis, Mo. A gravelly voiced and furrow faced comedian, for years he had a near legendary reputation for his scatalogical humor to be heard only in venues frequented by African-Americans. Then the television sitcom "Sanford and Son" (1972–77) catapulted him to fame and fortune. Although he retained his popularity with audiences, no other show ever fared as well; he fell into heavy debt and died while filming another television sitcom, "The Royal Family."
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.