Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy Paid for Comedian Redd Foxx’s Funeral & Headstone after He Died Penniless at 68

Actor and comedian Redd Foxx was a Hollywood legend, but by his sixties, he lost his wealth. Originally named John Elroy Sanford, Foxx was born in 1922 in Missouri, U.S., and passed away on October 11, 1991, after suffering a heart attack. He is known for his raunchy comedy, which had inspired many aspiring comedians. He also starred in the hit TV series, Sanford and Son, which aired from 1972 to 1977. Foxx occasionally worked in films, including Harlem Nights in 1989 with Eddie Murphy. [1] The two maintained a strong friendship, which culminated in Murphy paying for Foxx’s funeral and headstone.

Eddie Murphy Paid for Foxx’s Funeral

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Murphy explained the painful experience. “I buried Redd Foxx, I literally had to bury Redd Foxx. I buried so many people over the years. For some strange reason, a lot of people in show business, when they die, they don’t have their stuff in order. Buried a lot of famous people—if you only knew. If you only knew.”

Advertisement

Read: The Tragedy of Jim Carrey Just Keeps Getting Sadder and Sadder

The interviewer questioned further, asking if this meant Eddie Murphy was a pallbearer. He corrected this, saying, “No, I physically had to pay for their stuff and bury them. Redd Foxx, I had to physically pay for his funeral, and buy his headstone, and do all that stuff… We were close, and I did love Redd Foxx. Yeah, I did give him a shout-out [in Dolemite] and all that stuff.” [1] He refers to Dolemite Is My Name, a 2019 film starring the actor. You can see the clip he mentioned below.

Advertisement

Redd Foxx’s Financial Hardships

Despite all of Foxx’s success, he died without a penny to his name. A few years before his death, his home was raided by IRS agents when Foxx failed to pay $755,166.21 in back taxes. The agents took his cars, furniture, and other items. “They took my necklace and the ID bracelet off my wrist and the money out of my pocket,” said Foxx, who was 67 at the time. “I was treated like I wasn’t human.”

Advertisement

Read: 5 Times Chris Rock’s Jokes Offended People & Provoked Backlash

This was one of the last of many financial hardships. He had once earned $4 million in one year but he had used up his wealth on a lavish lifestyle, worsened by “very bad management.” In 1981, he also had to pay a $300,000 divorce settlement to his third wife. The following year, he had to pay $25,000 to a hotel employee who had pressed charges for his screaming obscenities at her.

I’ve been married three times and I’m out. I’d rather have kids because when I give up all this money on divorce, it should go to the children and not some guy,” Foxx said in an interview at that time. Then, in 1983, he began to declare bankruptcy, a proceeding that never reached its conclusion. 

At that point, he had only 30 to 45 days to square his accounts and stop the auctioning of his home and possessions. He thought he could receive help, however, “people I thought were my friends haven’t contacted me,” he said. [3]I just look for a telegram to say: ‘Hey man, look, I’m sorry. Keep a chin up.’ But I haven’t received anything. I’ve been in the business for 50 years. I’ve helped a lot of people, started them off.”

Advertisement

Foxx’s Unpaid Tax Debt

When he passed away from a heart attack in 1991, Foxx’s financial debt left nothing for a proper burial, which is where Eddie Murphy came in. The actor and comedian began his own career as a teenager doing standup. He went on to become a popular cast member of SNL and star in many hit films, including 48 Hours, Beverly Hills Cop, Coming to America, and Shrek, and many other dramas, comedies, and family films. [4]

Trending Now

The Walton family lost nearly $19 billion after Walmart's biggest stoc...
The Walton family lost nearly $19 billion after Walmart's biggest stoc...
This $4000 Tiny 3D Printed Home Can Be Built In Just One Day
This $4000 Tiny 3D Printed Home Can Be Built In Just One Day
A couple in their 50s live permanently on a cruise ship because it's c...
A couple in their 50s live permanently on a cruise ship because it's c...
Woman Puts Condom On Her Leg Like A Sock To Call Out Men Saying They'r...
Woman Puts Condom On Her Leg Like A Sock To Call Out Men Saying They'r...
Chef returns $1,200 bill of rich diner who 'disrespected' his waitress...
Chef returns $1,200 bill of rich diner who 'disrespected' his waitress...
'Meghan won't be back. She disliked England' - ex-Vanity Fair editor
'Meghan won't be back. She disliked England' - ex-Vanity Fair editor
New Bay Area rental concept includes sleeping pods in shared home for ...
New Bay Area rental concept includes sleeping pods in shared home for ...
"I did it for me": Meet the man with 516 body modifications
He Became the First Man in History to Give Birth — His Life Changed ...
He Became the First Man in History to Give Birth — His Life Changed ...
Woman brands herself 'plastic bimbo' and dreams of being 'real-life se...
Woman brands herself 'plastic bimbo' and dreams of being 'real-life se...
Man Banned From Teaching Kids Under Six Because They Find Him ‘Terri...
Man Banned From Teaching Kids Under Six Because They Find Him ‘Terri...
Jury Awards $450,000 To Employee Who Declined Birthday Party
Jury Awards $450,000 To Employee Who Declined Birthday Party
Advertisement

Speaking about Redd’s tax debt, Eddie Murphy speculated on whether the IRS was able to recover all of their dues. But he added that Foxx probably would’ve felt a lot of satisfaction for passing away before paying the IRS. 

Keep Reading: Snoop Dogg Wish Cancel Culture Would Try To Cancel Him: “My Fan Base Is Bigger Than Cancel Culture”

Advertisement

 Sources

Advertisement
  1. “Redd Foxx.Britannica
  2. “‘Nobody Laughed’: Eddie Murphy on His Harrowing First Audition.” Vanity Fair. Anthony Breznican. January 14, 2020
  3. “After the IRS Comes to Collect, An Angry Redd Foxx Starts Playing to An Empty House.People. December 18, 1989
  4. “Eddit Murphy.” Biography. April 27, 2017
Sarah Biren
Freelance Writer
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender.
Advertisement