Here’s How Jamie Foxx Became A Hollywood Star

It’s said that the fox is one of the most craft and cunning hunters on the planet. And while Jamie Foxx isn’t out hunting any animals in the food chain, he is surely one of the craftiest, most adept, and ambitious comedians in his many industries of influence. Born Eric Marlon Bishop on December 13th, 1967, the Texas native is the prime example of what it means to take advantage of every opportunity and make use of every talent. No matter what industry he decides to get his feet wet with, he always seems to produce excellence, which puts him around very prominent people. As a comedian and actor, he has rubbed shoulders with everyone from Jason Bateman, actress Taraji P. Henson, Meagen Good, and Dave Franco. And as a music artist, he has been featured in songs with rappers Kanye West and Twista, as well as Ludacris, Ne-Yo, and Justin Timberlake. Due to his multi-talented, ambitious nature, here is the story behind Jamie Foxx’s $170 million net worth.

A Comedian By Chance

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As we mentioned, Jamie Foxx was born in Terrell, Texas to his father Darrell Bishop, who worked as a stockbroker, and his mother Louise Annette Talley Dixon. He would soon be passed onto his mother’s adoptive parent, Estelle Mary Nelson and Mark Taylor. So essentially, he wasn’t raised by his biological parents, and they devoted very little time to his upbringing. During his childhood in Texas, he was raised in the black quarter of Terrell and was exposed to intense racism and segregation.

But, due to his grandmother’s influence, he focused his energies on more fulfilling aspirations, such as playing the piano – it’s no wonder why he played the role of Ray Charles so well! His musical talent followed throughout his teenage years, resulting in him becoming a part-time pianist and the choir leader in the local Baptist church. At least now we know where the foundation began that led him collaborate with some of hip hop and R&B’s most successfuk artists later in his life.

However, the talent that came to Foxx most naturally was telling jokes, which his classmates would often look forward to. He also tapped into his other talents, such as basketball and football, and even had his sights set on playing for the Dallas Cowboys. Ultimately, following his departure high school, Foxx received a scholarship to United States International University, where he decided to study musical and performing arts composition.

Ultimately, it was Foxx’s natural capacity for comedy that landed the opportunities for success that placed him in the position of prominence. Encouraged by a dare from his then girlfriend, he took to the stage at a comedy club’s open mic night in 1989, and the rest was history! By 1991, he had joined the cast of the sketch comedy series In Living Color, which also paved the way for other comedians like Jim Carrey, Tommy Davidson, Marlon and Shawn Wayans, and Kelly Coffield Park.

He then had a recurring role as Crazy George in the comedy-drama TV series, Roc, starring legendary actor Charles S. Dutton and Ella Joyce. Foxx showed so much promise that he was given his own sitcom to star in, The Jamie Foxx Show, which aired from 1996 to 2001 and spawned 100 episodes. By this time he already created his own production company, Foxx Hole Productions, which he used to co-create The Jamie Foxx Show.

The ‘Fox’x Of Hollywood

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Foxx’s transition into Hollywood was seamless due to his work on In Living Color, and in 1992, he made his acting debut in the fantasy comedy, Toys, where he co-starred alongside the late Robin Williams, actress Joan Cusack, and rapper/actor LL Cool J. Although the movie was a box office bust, it gained Foxx the exposure he needed to get in position for other opportunities.

His next major role in a motion picture came in director Oliver Stone’s 1999 sports drama film, Any Given Sunday, where Foxx starred as a quarterback alongside a slew of A-list actors like Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Aaron Eckhart, and Dennis Quaid. This was the first major film success Foxx was a part of, grossing $100 million against $55 million budget.

Success followed close behind in 2001 with his role opposite his fellow comedian/actor celebrity, Will Smith, in the biographical sports drama, Ali, in memory of Muhammad Ali. Although the film was a box office bust, Foxx grabbed the opportunity to express himself in a more dominant role as Ali’s assistant trainer. By 2004, Foxx had climbed so far up the ladder in his professional acting career that he was co-starring with one of Hollywood’s greatest action stars, Tom Cruise, in Collateral, for which he received an award for Best Actor and was nominated an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, according to Celebrity Net Worth. The film was also a commercial success, grossing $220.9 million at the box office.

Foxx continued to progress and mature as an actor, lending his voice to the 2011 computer-animated comedy film Rio (grossing $484 million) which also starred the voice of actor Jesse Eisenberg and actress Anne Hathaway. He reprised his role in the sequel, Rio 2, which came out in 2014 and was shy of grossing $500 million at the box office.

RELATED: The Highest-Grossing Jamie Foxx Films, Ranked

His Continued Acting Successes

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Simultaneously, Foxx was working on his music career, but the next major role he had as an actor came in 2012 in the revisionist Western film, Django Unchained, directed by the bold and ambitious Quentin Tarantino. Despite negative comments regarding strong racial language, the film grossed $436 million and featured a great cast of actors the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, James Remar, and Kerry Washington.

One year later in 2013, he went on to star in White House Down ($205.4 million grossed globally) alongside Channing Tatum, Richard Jenkins, and James Wood.  A few of his most recent films include his role as the villain Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ($709 million grossed), Baby Driver, starring Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacy, and Lily James. Foxx continued to refine his craft as an actor and in 2019, co-starred with the face of the Creed film franchise, Michael B. Jordan, in Just Mercy, for which Foxx won an award for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture.

In 2020, Foxx then starred opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Dominique Fishback in the Netflix-released science fiction action film, Project Power, which received mixed reviews. The same year, he also voiced the main character in the Pixar animated comedy film Soul, which also featured the voices of actress Tina Fey, Alice Braga, and Phylicia Rashad. He then reprised his role as Electro in 2021 in the superhero film, Spider-Man: No Way Home, starring the popular Tom Holland, Zendaya, and numerous other big names in the Spider-Man film franchise. This film would go on to become the highest-grossing Spider-Man film in history, raking in $1.922 billion at the box office.

Foxx’s Success In The Music Industry

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While there was an undeniable talent for comedy and acting, Foxx possessed an equally undeniable gift for music that he put to good use. In 2003, he featured on the rapper Twista’s song Slow Jamz together Kanye West, which shot to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. He proved his talent wasn’t a fluke when he released another collaboration with Kanye West called Gold Digger, which also became a chart-topping hit. In total, he released five studio albums, beginning with Peep This (1994), Unpredictable (2005), Intuition (2008), Best Night of My Life (2010), and Hollywood: A Story of a Dozen Roses (2015).

According to Best Selling Albums, his second album, Unpredictable, lived up to it’s name and went double-platinum, selling over 2.1 million copies. His other best-selling album, Intuition, also sold over 1 million copies and received a platinum certification from the RIAA. Foxx’s star power attracted features from music industry giants such as T.I., Lil Wayne, Ne-Yo, Fabolous, and the rapper T. Pain. The Things confirms that Intuition was the last album of Foxx’s career to ever sell over 1 million copies.

READ NEXT: 8 Ways In Which Jamie Foxx Spends His Millions

Sources: Celebrity Net Worth, The Things, Best Selling Albums


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