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The actor as a young boy | Source: Facebook.com/jamiefoxx
The actor as a young boy | Source: Facebook.com/jamiefoxx

This Boy, Whose Parents Abandoned Him at 7 Months, Kept Promise to Save Dad’s Life & Became Doting Dad to Own Kids

Junie Sihlangu
Nov 03, 2023
12:40 P.M.
  • This renowned actor places a high value on family and was raised by his grandparents.
  • The comedian ensures his family stays together, learning from his experience of being abandoned by his biological parents as an infant.
  • The star doesn't believe he's cut out for traditional marriage but has built amazing relationships with his daughters.
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This acclaimed actor has charmed the world with his comedic chops in various films. For his iconic work in the 2004 film "Ray," he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy.

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However, the 55-year-old actor is not just a movie icon; he is also a dedicated father to his two beautiful daughters, Corinne Foxx and Annalise Bishop. Many fans admire how close he is to his daughters.

An edited picture of the actor as a little boy on a February 20, 2016 post | Source: Facebook/Jamie Foxx

An edited picture of the actor as a little boy on a February 20, 2016 post | Source: Facebook/Jamie Foxx

He might be a doting parent to his children, but his own parents abandoned him as a child. Luckily, he had some family members who were willing to raise him and turn him into the person his fans know today.

Who Brought up the Future Star?

In an interview with television host Oprah Winfrey in 2012, he revealed how his childhood experiences made him a devoted family man. Born as Eric Marlon Bishop in Terrell, Texas, on December 13, 1967, he was only seven months old when his birth parents, Louise Annette Talley and Darrell Bishop, divorced.

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He credited his maternal grandmother Estelle Talley for raising him. Estelle and his late grandfather Mark stepped in and adopted their grandson. Under his grandparents' care, he grew up playing the piano, joined the church choir, and became the church's music minister.

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Learning the Piano

The future star wanted to become a famous musician like Lionel Richie and the gospel groups Clark Sisters and Commissioned. He also played the piano because his grandmother wanted him to earn through music. According to him:

"She said, 'I want to make sure you play the piano because I think that can get you on the other side of the tracks.'"

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The singer said his grandmother, who passed away in 2004, knew from the start that there was a way for them to earn more after living on a fixed income at Pleasantville.

His piano skills led him to win a classical piano scholarship to the United States International University in San Diego, California. It was an opportunity for him to explore new places outside of Texas.

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Amid his excitement, he was anxious to meet new people because he came from a Black household, which led him to experience racism every day. He was afraid he would be alienated because of his skin color.

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At the university, his worries melted away after meeting diverse students from different countries. He felt relieved that he met peers from London and Senegal who looked like him.

Growing up Confident

The young man's confidence grew as he honed his skills at the university until adulthood. The "Django Unchained" actor said confidence was what he learned from his grandmother. He added:

"She knew who she was. And with the love she and my grandfather extended to me, she passed on that confidence."

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Although his biological parents abandoned him as an infant, he said he never ran short of love because his grandparents supported him throughout his life. The star's parents were sadly not close to him growing up.

Distant Parents

Like any other abandoned child, Jamie Foxx revealed he hoped that his parents would show up later in his life. The award-winning actor shared that he saw his "good-looking" mother Louise, but she appeared distant.

Seeing that his father had no regard for him, Jamie realized that his father's presence was unnecessary in his life.

Jamie Foxx speaks onstage during the 2018 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. | Photo: Getty Images

Jamie Foxx speaks onstage during the 2018 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. | Photo: Getty Images

While Jamie admitted he missed his mother, he said he didn't talk to her. Meanwhile, his father's absence affected him the most because of his religion— Islam. The actor recalled Darrell, whose Islamic name is Shahid Abdullah, once drew a line in the sand.

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The negligent parent explained that he was Muslim and couldn't be Jamie's father because they did not share the same religion. When he played as a star quarterback during his youth, he hoped his father would visit him since he lived mere miles away from his home. However, Darell never showed up.

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When the musician began "The Jaime Foxx Show" in the late 1990s, his father contacted him about his trip to Los Angeles. The comedian was eager to see him but felt hurt when his father went to a mosque instead of meeting him.

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Seeing that Darrell had no regard for him, Jamie realized that his father's presence was unnecessary in his life. Moving forward in life, the television personality spent his time growing his career in Hollywood.

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Jamie met his father only after his grandmother's death and questioned him about the importance of his religion over his love for him. That was his final conversation with his father, or so he thought, because fate had a different path for the family.

Reconnecting with Parents after Being Abandoned

Years later, Jamie seemed to have reconnected with his biological parents. In a January 2020 interview, he revealed his parents live with him in Los Angeles. The "In Living Color" actor said then that his father had been living with him for 20 years after being freed from jail.

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Darell was incarcerated for seven years for being in possession of $25 worth of illegal substances. His father served as an educator in the inner cities, and the judge he invited to talk to the children was the same one who presided over his case and sent him to prison.

Although they didn't have a bond, at one point, Jamie's father taught him how to throw a football, play basketball, and even tennis. When the young star questioned why he had to learn tennis, Darell told him that it was because he didn't want him to be limited.

When his father was in prison, Jamie refused to visit because he didn't like the perception the place gave as he saw Darell "as a king." The actor's life had picked up, and in a letter, he promised his father that when he got out, he would save his life, and he did when he took his father in after he was released from prison.

On how he ended up living with Louise, he said he invited her several years ago to spend Christmas in his home. The invitation led to 12 years of living with his mother.

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While he managed to gather his parents under one roof, Jamie admitted it was an awkward situation. Darell had an active love life and would bring his dates home. There was a time when his mother would go to the other side of the house to see Darrell's companion.

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While living with his long-divorced parents was strange, Jamie described it as a "weirdly fun household." The celebrity said he had difficulty reconnecting with Louise, but he managed to work through their differences, saying that he and his mother learned new things with each other.

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No Time for Marriage and More about His Relationship with His Children

Keeping his family's relationship as close as possible, Jamie seems to have no time to entertain the idea of love or marriage at the moment. He has always been quiet about his relationships.

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He was once linked to actresses Meagan Good, Katie Holmes, and R&B singer Fantasia Barrino. Jamie said traditional marriage was not for him and confessed that he is "not the marrying type."

The celebrity's children have grown up a lot over the years, and in March 2023, he shared a lovely Instagram image of his daughter Corinne Foxx, congratulating her for winning a Blossom Award from The Endometriosis Foundation of America. The proud parent said his daughter honestly and openly shared her story to inform and uplift others.

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Meanwhile, on October 15, 2023, he celebrated his other daughter Anelise Bishop's 15th birthday by uploading various photos of the teenager.

During their joint appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," Corinne hilariously revealed that her father's humor and energy is "never off" and that the way he is in public is the way he is at home!

Jamie recalled a time he tried to pick her up from high school in a Rolls-Royce. The musician shared how he embarrassed his daughter by trying to show her how the top of the car opened up, and all the other parents were in mini-vans!

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The actor made an effort to explain his actions but eventually admitted that the car and performance he made that day were all "for me." Corinne called her mother that day and told her she wasn't getting into the vehicle with her father!

Moving on, the young woman shared how "incredible" Jamie's portrayal was in the role of George Jefferson in "The Jeffersons." Corinne said she was so nervous for him and worried if he'd be good enough, forgetting he'd won an Oscar for that performance.

Speaking about co-hosting "Beat Shazam," the pair believed they were trailblazers as the first father-daughter team to host a game show. The duo shared a dressing room trailer, and while Corinne spent two hours in hair and makeup, her father somehow hilariously managed to only be ready after her!

Jamie explained that it took a while to get ready because a lot of his "homies" came by! The star further said he was so excited to be working with his daughter that sometimes he spent time thanking Jesus for those two hours!

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In 2018, the singer proudly called Corinne "so beautiful" as she came to join him on stage on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." The young woman jokingly shared that while off-stage watching him being interviewed, she kept wishing he'd stop his antics!

She also admitted that he embarrassed her all the time! Jamie's oldest child couldn't understand why he couldn't just wave and sit down like other celebrities when he entered the stage of a show. Instead, he went to the band, suddenly had tissues, and was all over the place!

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In 2021, Jamie shared on an "Ellen DeGeneres Show" insert some of the insults his children had made against him. He revealed that they told him he wasn't as cool as he thought he was, his feet stunk, and his head was "so big!"

The star said one of the mistakes he made in his early parenting was that he didn't always make time for his children. He thought showing up and doing big things like taking Corinne to Disneyland would fix everything, only to find out through a therapy session she asked for at age 15 that she needed time with him and not the big gestures.

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In 2017, Jamie noted how "amazing" it was to see his children growing up and proud that "they ended up being okay.” When he wanted some downtime, he would take his daughters to his Westlake home in Miami, Florida.

When Anelise was four, he let her drive an electric boat, and she's been able to control one ever since. By age 11, the teenager could play her father's songs on the piano while he sang along. She even wanted to go on tour with him, and he felt "blessed."

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After disappearing from the public eye with an unnamed illness, in July 2023, Jamie appeared in an Instagram video confessing that his sister and Corinne "saved" his life. Jamie once revealed that he raised his daughters using some of the teachings he imbibed from his grandparents.

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The "Act Like You Got Some Sense" author believes he has good children in the pair. Unlike other fathers, he believes in talking to his children about everything, including their bodies or what they're going through at the time.

One lesson he learned from raising his daughters is that money isn't as important as he thinks. After learning from his mistakes with Corinne, Jamie said they are now a happy family.

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