One of the most popular African-American comedians of the late 1990s, TV star turned screen actor Jamie Foxx was born Eric Marlon Bishop in the small town of Terrell, Texas, on December 13, 1967. Foxx was raised by his grandparents after his parents separated. He enjoyed a happy upbringing, going to church every day with his grandparents and excelling at everything from academics to music to football. During his teen years he had his first taste of the entertainment business as his church's choir director and music director, and also started his own R&B band. Foxx studied music while a student at the U.S. International University in San Diego; it was during his college days that he got his start as a stand-up comedian. Attending a comedy club one night with some friends, he was encouraged to take the stage and perform some impersonations, which proved incredibly popular with the audience. Foxx's enthusiastic reception led to his decision to move to L.A. and pursue a comedy career. At the age of 22 he was hired for In Living Color, and he subsequently landed a recurring role on Charles Dutton's sitcom Roc.
Foxx eventually broke through onto the big screen with small appearances in movies like The Truth About Cats and Dogs, The Great White Hype, and Booty Call. Foxx's big break in film came in 1999 with Any Given Sunday, and he would henceforth find himself on a short list of bankable dramatic actors in Hollywood. He would go on to star in Michael Mann's Ali and Collateral, before playing legendary musician Ray Charles for the biopic Ray, which found Foxx taking home a Golden Globe and an Oscar for his performance.
Foxx would continue to remain a top-tier actor, starring in major films like Stealth, Jarhead, Miami Vice, Dreamgirls, The Soloist, Law Abiding Citizen, Django Unchained, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and the 2014 remake of Annie.