Born: 13 December 1967 (Age: 43)
Where: Terrell, Texas, USA
Awards: Won 1 Oscar, 1 BAFTA and 1 Golden Globe
It's hard to dispute Saturday Night Live's status as TV's most prolific movie star nursery. John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, James Belushi, then later Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Chris Farley and Will Ferrell all served time on the show, as did many more minor successes. But In Living Color, the early Nineties' predominantly black equivalent to SNL has also proved to be a breeding-ground of considerable note. First Damon Wayans stepped into the big leagues with The Last Boy Scout. Then Jim Carrey went several steps further. The show's creator, Keenen Ivory Wayans, and his brothers would score big with the Scary Movie franchise. There'd even be glittering screen careers for the series' choreographer and one of its Fly Girl dancers - Rosie Perez and Jennifer Lopez respectively.
Jamie Foxx would have to wait a little longer than the others. Sure, In Living Color would bring him his own TV series and a recording career, and would lend him huge kudos on the stand-up circuit. But this most talented of entertainers was after the big prize - a serious acting career as a serious headliner. After several raucous black comedies, he was taken on by the heavyweight likes of Oliver Stone and Michael Mann, honed his craft then, in 2004, a full decade after the demise of In Living Color, he broke through into the big-time - first as the taxi driver terrorised by Tom Cruise's hitman in Collateral, then as a stunningly accurate Ray Charles in Taylor Hackford's acclaimed biopic, Ray. Awards showered down on him, including an Oscar and a Golden Globe, and those serious parts came his way. With Carrey still struggling to break away from comic stereotyping, it could be argued that Foxx was the first ILC alumnus to really make the thespian grade.
He was born Eric Morlon Bishop on the 13th of December, 1967, in Terrell, Texas, a town of 14,000 some 40 kms east of Dallas along Route 80. His upbringing was unusual, to say the least. Thirteen years earlier, his mother, Louise Annette, had been adopted by Mark and Esther Talley. Before young Eric's birth, the now teenager's marriage to Darrell Bishop (later known as Shahid Abdulah after a conversion to Islam) was in trouble. Maybe a move to Dallas would put them back on track, a new start, without the baby (it didn't work, they'd divorce in 1974). So, at just 7 months old, Eric was, like his mother, adopted by the Talleys. "For whatever reason, my biological parents didn't want to make the effort," he'd say later. "Legally, my mother is my sister, because the lady who adopted her in turn adopted me". In many respects, this situation was good for the boy. Esther Talley was at this time 57 years old.