A-list actors often get accused of being out of touch with the real world, and who can blame them? They’re rich beyond their wildest dreams, can start and end relationships at the drop of a hat and live in homes that dwarf our own. So it may surprise you to know that actor, singer and comedian Jamie Foxx holds his family particularly dear. So dear, in fact, that he and his old folks actually live under the same roof.
Yes, in January 2020 Foxx divulged to British TV presenter Graham Norton that, at 52, he still lives with his parents. So despite his mature age, Foxx actually bucks most people’s domestic arrangements. And intriguingly, he made this unlikely revelation in front of fellow A-listers on a light-comedy talk show.
Wedged in between his Just Mercy co-star Michael B. Jordan and British comedienne Jennifer Saunders, Foxx admitted that the curious living arrangement had brought up its share of problems. But that’s probably to be expected, given that all three are fully grown adults and lead their own lives.
So what’s the deal with this highly unusual situation for a Hollywood A-lister? And why is Foxx still residing with his parents moving into his fifth decade on earth? Well, we’ll explore that a little later. But firstly, let’s go back to the start of Foxx’s remarkable rise to fame.
Now, Jamie Foxx was born on December 13, 1967. And his place of birth was Terrell, Texas, a city with fewer than 20,000 people. Notably, his birth name was actually Eric Morlon Bishop, with his modern-day moniker being picked up later on for his career. But it was his childhood, and an unlikely guardianship at such a young age, that helped shape Foxx’s talents.
You see, Foxx was given up for adoption by his parents Darrel Bishop and Louise Annette Dixon – who were separating at the time – before he’d even celebrated his first birthday. And the buck of raising the infant passed to his mother’s parents: nursery worker Esther and yard worker Mark Talley. Of course, the grandparents-turned-parents would have a significant impact on the young boy.
Indeed, Foxx’s adopted parents would provide the youngster with a highly disciplined – and religious upbringing in rural Texas. From the age of five, he began learning to play classical piano and performed at a local Baptist church. Also, he showed a penchant for comedy, telling jokes to his third-grade classmates whenever his teachers allowed him to.
In fact, the A-lister later credited his success to going to church as a youngster. He told Salt Lake City’s Deseret News in 2007, “Growing up in the country, church was where you got everything. It was where you got all your jokes, where you saw your first girl. Church, for me, was really the learning ground for everything.” Furthermore, at school, Foxx began to shine in multiple disciplines.
Yes, the young man particularly excelled in music and sport at his local Terrell High School. There, he blossomed into a promising quarterback, reportedly breaking the school’s passing record with a throw of over 3,000 feet. At one point, Foxx dreamed of starring for the biggest team in Texas, the Dallas Cowboys.
Still in high school, Foxx joined a band called Leather and Lace as a singer, giving him more exposure to the performing arts. After graduating Terrell, he put his football dream on hold as the opportunity to study for a music scholarship at the U.S. International University presented itself in 1986. So the youngster moved to San Diego and specialized in classical music and composition, graduating in 1988.
A year later, Foxx made his first foray into the entertainment business purely by chance. You see, he took to the stage at an open mic night and performed stand up after accepting a dare from his then girlfriend. And Foxx duly realized he had a real talent for performing comedy, and soon it took him down a career path.
But still, the young upstart was finding it difficult to get a break in comedy. However, he soon realized a trend that was pushing him to the back of the line. “I noticed [at the comedy clubs] they always picked girls,” he told People magazine several years later. “So, I started handing in unisex names – like Stacey, Tracey and Jamie.”
So while the gender neutral name Jamie was eventually adopted, the surname Foxx was a nod to African-American comedian Redd Foxx. “It was a tip of the hat to him that I chose that name, and the name stuck, and I have to be thankful to him for blazing the trail as a comedian and allowing me to sort of ride on his coattails,” the actor told audio documentary Redd Foxx: We’ve Come to Join You.
Indeed, Foxx’s career began to really take flight, making his TV debut on the comedy sketch show In Living Color in 1991. And he appeared on the program with some regularity until 1994. A recurring role on Roc and his first music album followed, before the star landed his own sitcom, The Jamie Foxx Show, in 1996.
Funnily enough, the show was about a wannabe actor from Terrell who moves to Los Angeles in pursuit of show business. However, he winds up working in his aunt and uncle’s hotel. Now, the show ran for 100 episodes. And in that period, Foxx also began to appear on the big screen more, including movies The Truth About Cats & Dogs and Booty Call.
But Foxx’s first major success would come in 1999’s Any Given Sunday. Yes, the Oliver Stone film – which starred Al Pacino and Cameron Diaz – centred around the Miami Sharks football team. And Foxx played a party-loving, reserve quarterback. Although it was not a critics’ favourite, the film was popular with audiences, pushing Foxx forward in his movie career.
After the Antoine Fuqua flop Bait in 2000, Foxx’s next major role was in the Michael Mann helmed Muhammad Ali biopic Ali. There, he appeared as Drew “Bundini” Brown opposite Will Smith’s Ali. And the film was a considerable success, earning two Oscar nominations. But it was two other films that came out three years later that really launched Foxx into the A-List stratosphere.
Yes, 2004 was really Foxx’s annus mirabilis. In that extraordinary year, the affable actor appeared in two major hit movies which both garnered Oscar nominations for him. Those films were the Tom Cruise-starring Collateral, and the Taylor Hackford directed Ray Charles biopic Ray. Foxx was by now indisputably one of Hollywood’s hottest properties.
Indeed, and the awards’ season in 2005 seemed to confirm this. For an emotional Foxx was crowned best actor at the 77th Oscars for his portrayal of Ray Charles. And despite not landing best supporting actor for his part in Collateral, it was of little significance. Furthermore, another foray into music would come that year, which saw the release of his second album and a mega-hit release with superstar Kanye West.
The track we are referring to is of course “Gold Digger.” And the song – which effectively saw Foxx reprising his role as Ray Charles by singing the hook – became one of the biggest hits of the year worldwide. In fact, it was Foxx’s second collaboration with West, after guesting with him on the song “Slow Jamz” in 2003.
Post-2005, Foxx’s career has largely continued to go from strength to strength. For he has released more albums and starred in more movies, including Jarhead, Miami Vice and Quentin Tarantino’s freed slave drama Django Unchained. But recently the actor made the news by opening up about a remarkable living situation with his family. And interestingly, it was set in motion more than 20 years ago.
As we mentioned before, Foxx was raised by his grandparents Mark and Esther Talley, who are sadly now both deceased. But despite being put up for adoption by his birth parents, the actor was not so bitter that he didn’t want to see them again. No, far from it.
For you see, back in the 1990s Foxx was dismayed to learn that his birth-father Darrel was heading for prison. And as he went on to explain to The Graham Norton Show, his latest film, the real-life legal drama Just Mercy, touched a raw nerve within him.
“When Michael (B.Jordan) called me up, I was so humbled and honored to be a part of the project, but doing this project is personal,” he told Norton. “Being a black man, and the [common] perception of us in America is we’re already guilty of a crime,” he added. Then Foxx went on to speak movingly about his father’s own criminal conviction.
Yes, Foxx addressed the particularly harsh sentence his father got, that saw him jailed for most of the 1990s. “They put my father in jail for $25 worth of illegal substance,” he stated to Norton. “They put him in jail for seven years.”
And the actor clearly felt his father’s offence was minor and was greatly overshadowed by his positive work in the community. “This man was an educator in the hood, and the inner cities,” he told The Graham Norton Show. “The judge that he would have come over to the school and talk to the kids, presided over his case.”
The Just Mercy star – who is a father himself to two girls – then went on to explain the impact his dad had had on his life, despite his noted adoption. “My father taught me everything, taught me how to throw a football, basketball, taught me how to play tennis,” he revealed to Norton. “When they put him in jail, what do we do as a family?”
Therefore, Foxx’s old man being in jail meant he would not see first-hand the rise of his boy to stardom in the 1990s. What’s more, the actor, through his own admission, didn’t go to see him. “I don’t like visiting jail, I don’t like that type of perception,” he confessed to Norton. “I told my pops, ‘I can’t come see you, because I see you as a king.’”
Instead, Foxx explained, he went and wrote his old man a letter. And what he wrote in it was particularly moving. He explained to Norton, “I said ‘hey, you know, things have gotten good for me. When you get out, I’ll save your life.’” So, how did Foxx go about rescuing his old man from an unwanted fate?
Well, the Oscar winner revealed all in the next sentence. Touchingly, he got his father to move into his home and live with him after being released from prison. As he went on to explain to The Graham Norton Show, “He’s been living with me for 20 years now…same house.”
Yes, the truth of the matter is that this is not a case of the not-so-young bird never flying the nest. No, as it turns out it’s about a self-made man taking in his down-on-his-luck dad during hard times. But interestingly, the story doesn’t even finish there where Foxx’s family is concerned.
You see, while Foxx senior may have been living with his son for going on 20 years now, around 12 years ago, another surprising thing happened. Yes, another would-be-tenant decided it was time to permanently move into the actor’s luxury Thousand Oaks mansion in Los Angeles. And that person would be Foxx’s mother, Louise.
Now, the actor explained further the frankly hilarious situation of living with his long-estranged parents all under one roof. He told The Graham Norton Show, “They’ve been divorced for 25 years, and 12 years ago I sent my mom tickets and said ‘If you ever want to come for Christmas.’” So far so normal.
But the kind-hearted invitation snowballed into something rather unexpected for Foxx. As he explained to Norton, “She finally accepted and we had a good Christmas, and New Year came…. Her birthday is on New Year’s Day so we partied for her birthday and then all of a sudden it was February.”
And Foxx’s mom was still there, in the house he shares with her ex-husband, much to his surprise. “I said, ‘Hang on a minute are you trying to tell us something?’ She said, ‘Oh I’m just trying to hang out’. Now she’s been living with us for 12 years,” he confessed. The whole story was to get even funnier, though.
You see, despite his advancing years, Foxx’s father isn’t yet out of the dating game, the actor explained to The Graham Norton Show . No, poppa Foxx’s libido hasn’t completely disappeared with age. “Now that poses a problem,” Jamie told Norton, with a sense of understatement.
So how does Foxx senior’s dating impact the dynamics of the house? Well, as Fox went on to explain, “They live under the same roof and what’s crazy is that dad still dates, so she’ll go on his side of the house just to see who’s there. And she’ll say ‘Oh this is what we’re doing, is it?’” he revealed.
But unsurprisingly, the actor’s father is not so keen on the interference of his ex. As Foxx went on to explain, “Then I’ll get a knock on the door from him telling me ‘Can you tell her to stay on her side of the house? I’ve got company’. “[And]I’ll say, ‘Now, parents…’”
But how does Foxx feel about it all, given he presumably might want to bring home partners of his own sometimes? Well, you’d think his parents living in the same quarters as him would seriously cramp his style. However, Foxx was, as ever, diplomatic on the matter of residing with his folks. “It’s a weirdly fun household,” he concluded.
So for now, at least, the Foxx family are all living under one giant roof. And it seems as though they wouldn’t have it any other way. Furthermore, it goes to show that there are A-listers in Hollywood with their feet well and truly on the ground. We salute Foxx for that.