DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Redd Foxx (aged 68)
Actor (Sanford and Son)
John Elroy Sanford (December 9, 1922 – October 11, 1991), better known by his screen name Redd Foxx, was an American stand-up comedian and actor, best remembered for his explicit comedy records and his starring role on the 1970s sitcom Sanford and Son. Foxx gained notoriety with his raunchy nightclub acts during the 1950s and 1960s. Known as the “King of the Party Records”, he performed on more than 50 records in his lifetime. He also starred in Sanford, The Redd Foxx Show and The Royal Family. His film projects included All the Fine Young Cannibals (1960), Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970), Norman… Is That You? (1976) and Harlem Nights(1989).
DEATH: On October 11, 1991, during a break from rehearsals for The Royal Family, Foxx suffered a heart attack on the set. According to Della Reese, Foxx was about to have an interview with Entertainment Tonight when he was called onto the set to practice a scene. An angry Foxx did as he was asked but as soon as he finished he collapsed to the floor. Reese said that nobody initially suspected anything was wrong; Foxx had often performed a fake heart attack routine on Sanford and Son and, as Reese recalled, was skilled at doing pratfalls. When Foxx did not immediately get up, Reese rushed over to check on him. When she leaned down to Foxx as he was on the ground, Foxx said, “Get my wife” repeatedly and went into cardiac arrest. According to Joshua Rich at Entertainment Weekly, “It was an end so ironic that for a brief moment cast mates figured Foxx – whose 1970s TV character often faked heart attacks – was kidding when he grabbed a chair and fell to the floor.” Foxx, who had temporarily been resuscitated while being treated initially, was taken to Queen Of Angels Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, where he succumbed to the attack and died that night at the age of 68.