Redd Foxx’s real name was John Elroy Sanford and he was born in 1922. He ran away from home in his early teens and, eager to join the show business, moved to New York. He was red haired which got him his nickname Redd Foxx.
His star rose in 1972 with the show ‘Sanford and Son’ where he played one of the lead roles alongside Demond Wilson. Feigning a heart in order to make his on-screen son do something for him became Redd’s trademark gag on sitcom. Foxx would grab his chest and cry “I’m coming Elizabeth!” which was a reference to his dead wife. The show got him a fortune, most of which he later spent on extravagant life style in Las Vegas.
In 1991 Redd began working on a show originally called ‘Chest Pains’ but the title was later changed to ‘The Royal Family’. In October 1991 Redd was on one of the day rehearsals when he suffered a heart attack. All the cast and crew started laughing as they thought he was just doing his trademark act. They soon realized that Redd wasn’t acting and he was taken to hospital where he passed away at the age of 68.