Redd Foxx loved his life inside and outside of Sanford and Son
Image credit: The Everett Collection
Redd Foxx played the role of Fred Sanford during Sanford and Son's entire six seasons. Like many other TV stars, Foxx became bonded with his character as the series went on, and he felt he knew his character personally.
Outside of Sanford and Son, Foxx was a stand-up comedian who would perform in nightclubs all over the country. He was very well-known in the comedy circuit during the '50s and '60s.
According to a 1973 interview with Fort Lauderdale News, Foxx enjoyed acting and stand-up comedy.
"Everybody says I should do Fred Sanford in the nightclub, but I don't think people want to see 45 minutes of what they got on TV," Foxx said. "And I've been at the nightclub for 36 years, I can't turn my back on all those years of what I believe."
After 36 years of being a stand-up comedian, it must have been nice for Foxx to have steady work in TV roles.
Knowing when your next gig is can be difficult in the comedy sphere. Foxx said both his onstage and onscreen characters represented him in some ways. "That's why they seem natural," he said.
"Now old people and kids recognize me on the street," Foxx said. "Before it was just drunks. And that's different for me, I've always spent all day at home and all night on the street."
Foxx said he wasn't originally interested in TV. According to the interview, he had a five-year contract with the Hilton Hotel in Vegas. The contract was set in stone, and the only way he could be released from it was to tear it up. His manager did and was later fired.
His jump to TV would help transform his life. Being successful as a nightclub comic and on TV is rare. He was able to excel in both, which may have been why Sanford and Son worked so well. As for his career, Foxx said he only had one big regret:
"You know, I really wish one thing... that I'd become bigger when I was younger," he said.
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