Eric Marlon Bishop (born December 13, 1967), known professionally by his stage name Jamie Foxx, is an American actor, singer, songwriter, record producer and comedian. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the 2004 biographical film Ray. The same year, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the crime film Collateral.
Other prominent acting roles include Staff Sergeant Sykes in Jarhead (2005), Detective Ricardo Tubbs in the 2006 film adaptation of TV series Miami Vice, the title role in the film Django Unchained (2012), and the super-villain Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014). Foxx also starred in the 1990-1994 sketch comedy show In Living Color and his own television show from 1996 to 2001, the sitcom The Jamie Foxx Show, in which he played Jamie King, Jr. Foxx also starred in the 2014 film Annie, in which he played Will Stacks.
Foxx is also a Grammy Award-winning musician, producing four albums which have charted in the top ten of the US Billboard 200: Unpredictable (2005), which topped the chart, Intuition (2008), Best Night of My Life (2010), and Hollywood: A Story of a Dozen Roses (2015).
Eric Marlon Bishop was born in Terrell, Texas on December 13, 1967. He is the son of Darrell Bishop (renamed Shahid Abdula following his conversion to Islam), who sometimes worked as a stockbroker, and Louise Annette Talley Dixon. Shortly after his birth, Foxx was adopted and raised by his mother’s adoptive parents, Esther Marie (Nelson), a domestic worker and nursery operator, and Mark Talley, a yard worker. He has had little contact with his birth parents, who were not part of his upbringing. Foxx was raised in the black quarter of Terrell, which at the time was a racially segregated community. He has often acknowledged his grandmother’s influence in his life as one of the greatest reasons for his success.
Foxx began playing the piano when he was five years old. He had a strict Baptist upbringing, and as a teenager he was a part-time pianist and choir leader in Terrell’s New Hope Baptist Church. His natural talent for telling jokes was already in evidence as a third grader, when his teacher would use him as a reward: if the class behaved, Foxx would tell them jokes. Foxx attended Terrell High School, where he received top grades and played basketball and football (as quarterback). His ambition was to play for the Dallas Cowboys, and he was the first player in the school’s history to pass for more than 1,000 yards. He also sang in a band called Leather and Lace. After completing high school, Foxx received a scholarship to United States International University, where he studied classical music and composition.
Foxx first told jokes at a comedy club’s open mic night in 1989, after accepting a girlfriend’s dare. When he found that female comedians were often called first to perform, he changed his name to Jamie Foxx, feeling that it was a name ambiguous enough to disallow any biases. He chose his surname as a tribute to the black comedian Redd Foxx. Foxx joined the cast of In Living Color in 1991, where his recurrent character Wanda also shared a name with Redd’s friend and co-worker, LaWanda Page. Following a recurring role in the comedy-drama sitcom Roc, Foxx went on to star in his own sitcom The Jamie Foxx Show, from 1996 to 2001.
Foxx made his film debut in the 1992 comedy Toys. His first dramatic role came in Oliver Stone’s 1999 film Any Given Sunday, where he was cast as a hard-partying American football player, partly because of his own football background. Five years later, Foxx played taxi driver Max Durocher in the film Collateral alongside Tom Cruise, for which he received outstanding reviews and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.