A Stand-Up Guy: See What Redd Foxx Risked For LaWanda “Esther” Page

Posted On : March 12, 2015

7-16 FB esther and fredRedd Foxx did a really risky, yet honorable thing for his friend, LaWanda Page, (Aunt Esther) back in the day. To understand why he did it, you have to first understand their history together. Redd and LaWanda were really close friends in real life, long before they were comedians. They were friends since their pre-teen years and they attended the same high school in St. Louis.

As they grew up, they both separately pursued comedy careers. I guess that explains why they were so close in the first place – ‘birds of a feather flock together’ and both of them had a reputation for being two of the most hilarious kids in the neighborhood back in the day.

fred and esther2

They each started doing their own thing in stand-up comedy, making a name for themselves on the chitlin’ circuits and far beyond. Then eventually Redd Foxx got offered a starring role in a new TV show, Sanford and Son, and he suggested his childhood friend, LaWanda, for the role of “Aunt Esther.” Lawanda had just decided to step away from comedy and move back from L.A. to St. Louis to care of her very sick mother, when Foxx called her about the role. She worked it out and was able to audition for the part.

Now this is where Redd really showed his character: Lawanda was offered the part. However, before any…

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