​October 11, 1991: Redd Foxx Dies From A Heart Attack 

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Foxx suffered from a heart attack during a break from rehearsals for ‘The Royal Family’. According to Joshua Rich at Entertainment Weekly, “It was an end so ironic that for a brief moment cast mates figured Foxx — whose 70s TV character often faked heart attacks — was kidding when he grabbed a chair and fell to the floor.”

Foxx was taken to Queen Of Angels Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, where he died that evening.

He was posthumously given a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame on May 17, 1992. Foxx is buried in Las Vegas, at Palm Valley View Memorial Park. His mother, Mary Carson (1903–1993), outlived Foxx and died nearly 17 months later, in 1993. She was buried just to the right of her famed son.

John Elroy Sanford, known professionally as Redd Foxx, was a comedian and actor, best remembered for his explicit comedy records and his starring role on the 1970s sitcom Sanford and Son. 

Sanford and Son was the American version of Steptoe and Son, a British sitcom. Foxx had an older brother, Fred G. Sanford, Jr, who was the inspiration for the name on his show. 

Foxx was born in St. Louis, Missouri and raised on Chicago’s South Side. His father left the family when he was 4 years old, he was raised by his half-Seminole Indian mother, Mary Hughes from Ellisville, Mississippi, his grandmother and his minister. He attended DuSable High School with future Chicago mayor Harold Washington.

In the 1940s, he was an associate of Malcolm Little, later known as Malcolm X. In Malcolm’s autobiography, Foxx is referred to as “Chicago Red, the funniest dishwasher on this earth.” He earned the nickname because of his reddish hair and complexion. His surname was taken from baseball star Jimmie Foxx.

During World War II, Foxx dodged the draft by eating half a bar of soap before his physical, a trick that resulted in heart palpitations.

Read more about this funny man’s career and legacy at: Daily Black History Facts


  • Sharon Robinson October 11, 2016 - 11:53 pm Reply

    Only Red Foxx would think to eat a bar of soap in order to dodge the draft! Who would blame him! He was one of the funniest actor comedians around.

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