Most people recognize Redd Foxx from the 70’s series Sanford and Son, but before and after his success on TV, the lateactor made his name as a groundbreaking stand-up comic. A staple on the Las Vegas circuit, Foxx paved the way for luminaries like Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy, and went blue before going blue was a thing.
While Foxx’s legacy in the world of stand-up is safe and secure, his estate is a different story. According to an article in AOL News, Foxx owed $3.6 million in tax debt at the time of his death in 1991. It’s fallen upon Clark County Public Administrator John Cahill to remedy the situation. His solution? Attempting to auction off Foxx’s life story.
Cahill was placed in charge of the estate after squabbling and suspicious behavior among Foxx’s daughter and fourth wife. He has since collected payments for things like the use of Foxx’s likeness on T.V. and in greeting cards.
“The estate had no assets at all at that time, although we’ve been able to locate some assets, collect some royalties since then,” said Cahill. “This was the big-ticket item, the rights to his story. That was an asset to be marketed. . . Who I’m waiting to call, the call that would make my day would be Jamie Foxx.” The Oscar winner’s last name is a tribute to Redd. “That would be great for so many reasons. There’s the connection there.”
Eric J. Goodman, a lawyer in Orange County who deals with intellectual property rights, has his doubts about the situation.
“The issue for the administrator is if they’re going to sell bobblehead dolls, great, that can be bequeathed to an estate,” said Goodman. “But he’s proposing the use of Redd Foxx’s name for commercial use. A film is a piece of art. I think the administrator has good intentions and this is a very creative idea, but what he’s selling is the Brooklyn Bridge here. Who’s to say anybody else can’t come along and sell their own biography of him?”
Interesting plan. The word cockamamie comes to mind. Maybe the story that could turn a real profit here is Cahill’s.