Jamie Foxx, a Multi-Talented One Man Superstar!
This Award-winning American comedian had a childhood that was a mixture of sweet and bitter experiences. Foxx was born on 13th December 1967 as Eric Bishop in Terrell, Texas, a town that had a population of about fourteen thousand.
He was born to a very young couple, Shaheed Abdulla, and Louise Annette Talley, who soon got overwhelmed by the demands and responsibility of parenthood due to their extremely young ages. When Foxx was seven months old, he was adopted by his mother's parents Mr. and Mrs. Talley.
Mrs. Talley had an adamant influence on him, and the great entertainer gives his grandmother credit for inspiring him in life. According to Foxx, in his interview with Josh Tyrangiel of Time, his grandmother adopted him at 60 years of age. She had a nursery school, she was running and maintained a beautiful library at home. She saw her grandson's early interest in books and believed he was intelligent enough to achieve great feats and reach great heights in life.
Eventually, he joined the American movie industry and starred in some unmemorable projects like the 1997 Booty Call. However, that was not the best Foxx had to offer. In 1999, he put up a more admirable performance in a more significant production, Any Given Sunday produced by Oliver Stone. His stint in the movie world continued with one role after another until 2005 when he made Hollywood history after he became the first Black man to be nominated for two Academy Awards in one year. He was nominated for the roles in Collateral and Ray. At 37, Jamie Foxx grabbed the desirable Best Actor Oscar and became the third Black man ever to win the great gold statue
After he had conquered his local entertainment scene, he needed to go out and conquer the American TV world. In the year 1991, Foxx joined other hundreds of TV hopefuls to audition for a new comedy series. He obtained a role and was on the comedy series, "In Living Colors" from 1991 to 1994 when the show was taken off the TV screens. Foxx became known for a number of things such as his ability to impersonate and mimic perfectly as well as his characters, especially the one called Ugly Wanda which like most of his other characters was both original and outrageous.
One night while growing up, Foxx had an experience that would alter the entire course of his life when he indicated interest to work as a fill-in comedian in a Santa Monica comedy house. With a TV crew filming an exclusive HBO edition, he wrote four different fake female names on the registration sheet to increase his chances of performing since he noticed the MCs favored the female performers more than their male counterparts. When he was called, the name Eric Bishop became lost, and he became known as Jamie Foxx. He was so successful with his comedy career at the club that he stopped all day jobs and performed seven nights every week.
America has produced quite many talented African-America celebrities, but some stand tall above others. One of the Male talents that have graced the TV screens of Americans for quite some time now is the legendary and multi-talented Jamie Foxx. Jamie Foxx has worked as a comedian, with music as a singer and an actor for several years, but his massive breakthrough and fame did not come until around 2005. In the 90s, Foxx was only known for his ability to mimic almost everybody in the entertainment world as a stand-up comedian. He was a regular face on TV shows and had his very own comedy show which debuted in 1996 and ended in 2001.
While the comedy series lasted, he tried his hands on other aspects of entertainment. A good number of network comedy shows featured him as a performer. He had a Foxx sitcom named ROC where he played a recurring character known as Crazy George. In 1993, HBO began a one-man comedy series called with the name of the true rising entertainer. Fox was so into entertainment that soon after In Living Color was canceled; he released a 12-track album in the rhythm and blues genre called Peep This. Apart from producing the album himself, Foxx was acclaimed to have written and sung each of the 12 tracks.
His break from animated comedy, however, did not last very long. In 1996, he helped WB network create a 30 minutes sitcom based on his childhood and rise to fame. It was centered on a Jamie King, a Terrell, Texas aspiring actor, who finds his way to Hollywood in search of Fame and Fortune. In his struggle for a major hit, King starts working in a local hotel owned by his uncle and aunt. For about five years, King treated his local fans to the very best of his comedy. His show became the most rated WB network show. Foxx got a NAACP award in 1998 for most outstanding actor in a comedy series for his performance in the Fox show.
A world of opportunities was opened up for Foxx through his television show. Movers and Shakers of the American entertainment industry saw the versatility of him as a comedian, musician, actor, and a writer. He got some roles in comedy movies like 1992 Toys, 1997 Booty Call, but his first significant role came in 1997 when he starred in Any Given Sunday. Though he gave his best on Any Given Sunday, other directors did not beat a track to his doorstep to offer him major roles in their movies. Foxx spent the year 2000 turning down one unmemorable and mediocre character after the other in an attempt to make a very calculated next move to make it big. In 2001, he featured in Michael Mann's movie Ali as Drew Brown the Boxing Trainer. He made an excellent impression with his interpretation and impersonation in this film.
His name was linked to a possible Oscar award for the first time following his role in Ali, although he wasn't nominated. His performance, however, caught the attention of one movie director, Taylor Hackford. Taylor was auditioning for a big project, his soon to be shot movie Ray, a deep look into the life of the blind music legend Ray Charles. Hackford was said to have spent 15 years working on the script and searching for sponsors for the project. When he got the backers he needed, all that was left was the true lead performer to mimic the legend perfectly. He found that lead actor in Jamie Foxx.
Foxx gave his all to that production, shedding 30 pounds to achieve the Ray Charles lean looks, mastered Charles' keyboard dexterity, talked to his friends and family and watched all his videotaped interviews. Foxx learned how Ray spoke to his wife and kids, and most importantly how to live a blind man's life. He practiced being blind by shutting his eyes with glue and wore a device that rendered him blind for about 14 hours a day all through the filming process. The biggest thrill for the young actor was when he met Ray and got his blessings for his role in the movie. Ray died four months before the film was released in October 2004, and this movie was the turning point in Jamie Foxx career as an actor. His role as Ray earned him the 2004 Academy Award for Best Actor and opened doors for more lead roles for him.
Do you agree Jamie Foxx is a multi-talented one man superstar?
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© 2015 Pam Morris