Did Jamie Foxx Take the Name “Jamie” Because it Sounded Like a Woman’s Name?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Jamie Foxx took the name “Jamie” because it sounded like a woman’s name.

Jamie Foxx’s career has come a long way.

From his days on the sketch comedy series, In Living Color (where Foxx first started out as the DJ for the series!)…

To his own sitcom, The Jamie Foxx Show…

To winning the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Ray…

Jamie Foxx’s career has gone far (and this is not even getting into his successful music career).

It’s interesting to note, though, just how calculated Foxx’s career has been. He has planned on being a star for many years.

Born Eric Marlon Bishop, Foxx had his first taste of fame when he was in high school. He was a notable football player, and was actually featured in national stories about high school football (growing up in Texas, he knew firsthand how important football is).

His dream, though, was to be a musician.

When he graduated high school, he attended the United States International University. While there, he studied classical music and composition.

However, after a couple of years there, he felt that he was better served trying to make it in the entertainment industry NOW rather than wait until he graduated.

So he dropped out of school and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in show business.

Making it as a musician was hard work, and Foxx made a living working in a shoe store.

One night, while out with his girlfriend, she dared him to go on stage on an open-mic comedy night. He liked it so much that he decided to pursue a career in comedy.

He would continue attending open mic comedy nights in his attempts to become a professional comedian.

While doing so, he noticed an interesting trend.

He told Jet magazine:

Three girls would show up and 22 guys would show up. They had to put all the girls on who were on the list to break up the monotony.

So he decided to make up a name that sounded like a female name, so that when he wrote it down at open-mics, it would be called since it was presumed to be a woman comic.

So Eric Bishop became Jamie Foxx (the Foxx came from comedian Redd Foxx, naturally).

And his plan worked, as he would get called to the stage more frequently, and began to make a name for himself.

Pretty soon, he was picked up by In Living Color and the rest, well, I suppose it was history.

The legend is…


Thanks to Jet magazine and Jamie Foxx for the information!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is bcronin@legendsrevealed.com.

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