Name at birth: Eric Bishop
Once famous for wacky TV comedy, Jamie Foxx gained greater fame as a dramatic actor in high-profile movies such as Any Given Sunday (1999, directed by Oliver Stone) and Ray (the 2004 biopic of singer Ray Charles). Foxx grew up in Texas and moved to southern California to work on a music career. He released an album, Peep This, in 1994, but had more success in TV comedy, first with In Living Color (1991-1994), and then with his own eponymous series (1996-2001). By the late '90s Foxx's movie career was taking off, thanks to funny roles in films like Booty Call (1997) and The Player's Club (1998, directed by Ice Cube). By the end of the decade he was getting good reviews for dramatic performances as well, and now he is considered a talented actor as well as an inventive comedian. He was nominated in 2004 for Oscars in two different categories: as a supporting actor opposite Tom Cruise in the drama Collateral (he lost), and as best lead actor for Ray (he won). His other films include Miami Vice (2006, with Colin Farrell), Dreamgirls (2006, starring Eddie Murphy), The Soloist (2009, opposite Robert Downey, Jr.) and Law Abiding Citizen (2009, with Gerard Butler).