White Famous: Fun Facts about Foxx

White Famous is based on Jamie Foxx's come-up and we decided to look at some fun facts you may not know about the man.

24 May 2018

Jamie Foxx is multi-talented – he’s an actor, musician, comedian and a television producer. His latest work is as an actor and producer on our new show White Famous, which is loosely based on his come-up as a comedian.

It stars Saturday Night Live alum Jay Pharoah, who plays an up-and-coming African-American comedian on the precipice of breaking out as a star.

Jamie Foxx has been funny his entire life

While in the second grade his teacher used to tell the class that if they were well behaved she would give them an opportunity to listen to Jamie’s jokes.

Jamie Foxx has a girlfriend to thank for his career

He started his career as a comedian because of a dare from his girlfriend in 1989. She dared him to do an open mic at a comedy club, he did impersonations of Bill Cosby and Ronald Reagan.

He was adopted by his maternal grandparents

Jamie attributes his success to his grandmother, Esther's influence. She ran a nurery school and pushed Jamie to focus on the things he excelled at, music and reading. Jamie says the most important lesson he learnt from his grandmother was confidence: "She could walk into a bank filled with white folks and say, 'Let me speak to so and so.' She knew who she was."

His real name is not Jamie Foxx

Jamie was born Eric Marlon Bishop. While coming up in the comedy scene, he noticed females got more opportunites and were called up to the stage before their male counterparts, so he decided to choose an ambiguous name ‘Jamie’ so that he could get to the stage more frequently and quicker. Choosing ‘Foxx’ was an ode to pioneering African-American comedian, Redd Foxx, Jamie said that the moment you heard the name Foxx, you immediately thought funny.

He had been preparing to play Ray Charles since 1990

During his time on In Living Color he spoof impersonated the Diet Pepsi adverts that starred Ray Charles. His most notable performance of Ray was in the movie biopic Ray, in which he won an Oscar in 2004.

He is a real-life hero

He once saved a man from a burning car in 2016.

Jamie gives great advice

Leslie Jones is now a great comedian but she wasn’t always great. In her early years she once had the honour of opening for Jamie Foxx and she bombed hard. Jamie called her aside and said, 'You're like 19. You have nothing. You have no stories, you have no life. Go live. Go have some bad jobs. Go have some good jobs. Go get your heart broken. Go break some hearts. Because you have no material right now.' The rest is history.

He is a history maker

Jamie is one of two men (the other being Al Pacino) to have been nominated for two Oscars in one year. He was nominated and won for the Best Actor category for his portrayal of Ray Charles in Ray, and he was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor category for his role of the taxi-driver that drove around a hitman in Collateral.

He is one of five people who have an Oscar and a #1 song on the Billboard Chart

The first time was when he featured on Twista’s Slow Jamz alongside Kanye West and the second time was when he collaborated with Kanye West on Gold Digger.

He is Double Platinum certified

His sophmore album Unpredictable sold two million copies in the USA, was certified as Double Platinum by the RIAA, and was nominated for four Grammys. The album included Kanye West, Ludacris, Mary J. Blige and Snoop Dogg.

He is a producer and guest star on new Vuzu show White Famous

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