With over three decades of experience in the entertainment industry, Redd Foxx has worked with prominent performers such as Eddie Murphy and was a TV expert himself. Unfortunately, he became homeless and penniless towards the end of his life.
In his career as an actor and comedian, Redd Foxx mingled with the industry’s most powerful and influential figures. After his passing, his wit and acting prowess remained in the minds of those who knew him over a long period of time.
However, despite having gained riches and fame from the start, he passed in poverty, having served a younger colleague in part to pay off his debt and to satisfy his passion for music.
Foxx was hit by a financial crisis that brought everything to a grinding halt during his birthday month one year, leaving the comedian with almost nothing to commemorate the occasion.
He was 67 years old when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seized a major amount of his property, which had been assessed as valuable possessions. The only things the officials left behind were a bed for him to sleep in, a couch for him to sit on, some intimate photos, and some clothing.
Despite his trauma, the entertainer managed to crack a joke while recounting it. He accepted that the amount of money he owed was substantial, and he realized that he would have to be an heir in order to retrieve the assets that could help him clean his record in court. Foxx also stated the following:
“They stole everything, anything they believed was valuable, in the hopes that when the auction comes around, they will have the opportunity to collect their money.”
While they did release certain items, the IRS was adamant about preserving a photograph of American actress Lena Horne kissing the comic, as well as another photo of the comedian’s co-star, Demond Wilson.
In addition, the officers took a signed image of Frank Sinatra, some of his houseplants, and a watch off of his wrist and placed it in their possession. The television star stated that his visitors arrived relatively early and instructed him to open the door within two minutes, despite his apparent state of mind.
Despite the fact that he had only just gotten out of bed, Foxx complied with their two-minute timer requirement and went to the door. They looted his belongings as soon as they were permitted in.
The IRS had a specific goal in mind, and they were meticulous in their quest for evidence. They also searched into the luggage trunk of his mother, Mary Carson, who is 86 years old. Despite the fact that he had no influence over how they mismanaged the land, Foxx implored them to put his dogs down when it was time for them to stop.
They enabled him to remain in the house, despite the fact that he had little to call his own, but this privilege was set to expire when they sold the house. All of these efforts were taken in order to collect the $98 000.00 in tax evasion fees that he owed.
The entire experience sparked the actor’s pride and emotions, especially because the loss came as a surprise to him because he had taken precautions to prevent it from happening.
Foxx had filed for bankruptcy six years before to the possibility of homelessness, and he didn’t waste any time in putting his Los Angeles residences up for sale, which totaled $3 million in value.
Because the bankruptcy had not yet been completed at the time of the house invasion, the onscreen star questioned why the IRS could not simply wait until the final balance was reached before collecting their taxes. He stated, “I’m not going to lie, I’m not going to lie.”
“Why didn’t the IRS wait until the bankruptcy was completed before determining how much money was still available to them? It’s not like I was in a financial bind.”
He attempted to get answers on his own and eventually turned to his lawyer in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, Foxx was unable to construct a new case. Despite the fact that the new development was unrelated to the bankruptcy complaint, the attorney slammed the $7,500 payment on him in order to reopen the investigation.
In light of his attorney’s denial, Foxx found himself in a tough position, so he decided to seek the assistance of another lawyer while also seeking guidance from the American Civil Liberties Union.
Ahead of the invasion, Foxx had received many IRS notifications, one of which involved them withholding his monthly pay for a period of four months. He had landed a job as a headliner alongside Eddie Murphy at the Hacienda Hotel in Las Vegas, with a salary that amounted to almost $20,000.
The tax authorities determined that he had earned an exorbitant amount of money by appearing on “Harlem Nights,” Murphy’s successful television show, and assessed him a weekly income tax of $20,000 on that earnings. The ordeal, according to the entertainer, was unjustified.
Nonetheless, the treatment did not force him to leave the show; rather, he became more motivated and worried about the other men with whom he worked as a result of it. Foxx was adamant about not leaving the show since doing so would break the delicate balance of the show, ultimately costing the other actors their jobs.
Foxx maintained his good attitude despite the miseries of being homeless and poor. Aside from the reaction of close friends, who he believed should have assisted him, the only thing that bothered him was his own thoughts. This is what the “Harlem Nights” star had to say about it:
“I haven’t received any communication from anyone. That is just remarkable. It’s hard for me to believe. No one has contacted me in any way. But I haven’t gotten anything in the mail. I’ve been working in this industry for 50 years.”
Foxx went on to say that he had sought out Murphy. Working with the younger comic, whom he characterized as “a beautiful person,” was a pleasure for him. The experienced actor revealed that his colleague was able to assist him without feeling the pressure because he earned significantly more money and was still in his prime at the time.
That wasn’t all; while he requested assistance, Foxx was prepared to enter into a five-year agreement with Murphy in exchange for which he would repay the loan. However, there was no immediate response until after the interview, during which he expressed his confidence in the creator of “Harlem Nights.”
Murphy’s attorneys collaborated with members of Foxx’s legal team. Eventually, after much deliberation between them and the IRS, everything was resolved, and Foxx was able to star in CBS’s sitcom “The Royal Family,” which was produced by his savior, Eddie Murphy, who had saved his life.
The comedy superstar passed dead as a destitute man two years after he had become homeless for the first time. Murphy came to the rescue of his friend yet again this time. He covered the costs of the funeral and purchased Foxx’s tombstone. When asked why, he responded as follows:
“We were good friends, and I really liked Redd Foxx.”
Foxx was laid to rest at the Palm Memorial Park in Las Vegas, where a large crowd had gathered to pay their respects. The majority of his “The Royal Family” co-stars were taken aback by his unexpected passing.
They opted to remember him for his illustrious career in the industry rather than for his subsequent financial struggle. In a light-hearted moment at the memorial, Aalda, a colleague, quipped about how satisfied Foxx must be, knowing that he owed the Internal Revenue Service.