John Elroy Sanford (December 9, 1922 – October 11, 1991), better known by his screen name Redd Foxx, was an American 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).
In 2004, Comedy Central Presents: 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time ranked Foxx as the 24th best stand-up comedian. Foxx not only influenced many comedians, but was often portrayed in popular culture as well, mainly as a result of his famous catchphrases, body language and facial expressions exhibited on Sanford and Son. During the show's five year run, Foxx won a Golden Globe Award and received an additional three nominations, along with three Primetime Emmy Award nominations.
He is also known as John Elroy Sanford and John Sanford.
On October 11, 1991, during a break from rehearsals for The Royal Family, he suffered a heart attack on the set. According to Della Reese, Foxx was about to have an interview with Entertainment Tonight; when she leaned down to Foxx as he was on the ground, Foxx said, "Get my wife" repeatedly. 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 was taken to Queen Of Angels Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, where he died that evening at the age of 68. Foxx was posthumously given a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame on May 17, 1992. Foxx is buried in Las Vegas, at Palm Valley View Memorial Park. His mother, Mary Carson (1903–1993), outlived Foxx and died two years later, in 1993. She was buried just to the right of her famed son.