Comedian Redd Foxx dead of heart attack


LOS ANGELES -- Comedian and actor Redd Foxx, best known as junkman Fred Sanford, died Friday after suffering a heart attack and collapsing on the set of his new television series 'The Royal Family,' his associates said. He was 69.

Louis Pitman, who was Foxx's accountant for the past two years, said the actor died at 7:45 p.m. at Queen of Angels-Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center.


Foxx collapsed on the set of the CBS television series on the Paramount Studios lot at 5555 W. Melrose Avenue in Hollywood shortly after 4 p.m., a Fire Department spokesman said.

Paramedics were called and cardiopulmonary resuscitation was performed as they took the comedian to the medical center.

Foxx was 'unconscious and in extremely critical condition with acute myocardial infarction -- a heart attack' when he reached the emergency room, a hospital spokeswoman said.

'I thought he was kidding around,' Pitman said. 'He just fell over.

'It doesn't feel like he's dead,' said Pitman, who himself suffered a heart attack last week. 'I just got through talking to him.'

'You could be really upset with him, but in the end, there was just something about him that made you happy,' Pitman said.


Foxx's attorney, Mark Rifman of Las Vegas, said the actor collapsed during a rehearsal on the set of 'The Royal Family.'

Foxx played Alexander Royal in the new sitcom about a retired couple who suddenly take in their daughter and her three children. Della Reese co-starred as Victoria Royal.

Foxx, whose real name was John Elroy Sanford, was best known as the cantankerous junkman Fred Sanford in 'Sanford and Son,' which aired from 1972 to 1978. In that series, he frequently clutched his chest, raised his eyes and said, 'Elizabeth, I coming to join you.'

He was born in St. Louis, Mo., Dec. 9, 1922, and ran away from home at the age of 13 to join a street-corner band.

By the 1940s, he was performing as a nightclub comedian. His risque material kept him off television for years and often forced recordings of his act to be sold under-the-counter.

He broke in to television in the 1960s with guest appearances on 'The Lucy Show,' 'Green Acres,' 'The Addams Family' and 'Mr. Ed,' among others.

After 'Sanford and Son,' Foxx had his own variety series in 1977 and featured many of his old nightclub cronies, including Slappy White, his partner in the 1950s.


After the variety series, he returned to the nightclub life, headlining in Las Vegas.

In 1989, the Internal Revenue Service seized Foxx's Las Vegas home, furniture and several cars for his failure to pay income taxes from 1983 to 1986. He was forced to sell other homes in 1983 after filing bankruptcy.

He is survived by his wife, Ka Ha Cho, and his mother, Mary Carson of Las Vegas. Funeral arrangements were pending.

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