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Foxx (in Miami Beach on New Year's Eve) admits that he was hoping for his Oscar win: "If you're playing basketball, you want to go to the championship." The 37-year-old actor made history by being the first African-American to earn dual nominations: Best Actor for Ray (he won) and Best Supporting Actor for Collateral.
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Fox won honors at the Critics' Choice Awards on Jan. 10 (top); at the Jan. 16 Golden Globes (bottom left); and at the SAG Awards on Feb. 5 (bottom right). At the Golden Globes, he said, "Can I just tell you that I am having the ride of my life?" and paid a tearful tribute to his late grandmother, Estelle Talley, who died in October at 95.
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Though he's admitted in the past that he has a "commitment problem," Foxx's steady companion these days is actress Leila Arcieri (at the Golden Globes). "I know she digs me because she was there when I was just trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B," says Foxx.
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"I think she's made him grow up a little bit," says former Jamie Foxx Show costar Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon of Foxx's daughter Corinne, 11 (from a previous relationship with an ex-girlfriend). Corinne lives close to Foxx's L.A. home, which he shares with half-sisters Deidra, a hairdresser; Diondra, who has Down syndrome; and their father, George Dixon.
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Foxx is known for his dapper sense of style (left, at a pre-Grammy part in Beverly Hills on Feb. 12; right, at the Critics' Choice Awards in January), and also his charm. "He has that thing about him that no matter who is in the room, you feel like he's connecting with you especially," says Ray costar Regina King.
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HAVING A BALL
"He's a hell of a lot of fun to be around," says Tom Cruise of his Collateral costar (in Venice, Italy, in September). "But he's also a very serious man." The pals first met when Foxx was auditioning for 1996's Jerry Maguire, a role that ultimately went to Cuba Gooding Jr., and earned him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
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The athletic Foxx (in Miami Beach on New Year's Day), who once played quarterback for Terrell High School in Terrell, Texas, still has ties to his hometown. "Around here, he's just Eric, the clown," says Foxx's friend Torrez Thomas of the former stand-up comedian, whose birth name is Eric Bishop. In fact, plans are underway to rename Foxx's childhood street in his honor.
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EYES ON THE PRIZE
"I always tell him, 'Stay focused on the work,'" says Ray director Taylor Hackford of Foxx (at the premiere of Collateral). "Don't succumb to all this amazing hoopla." Foxx is staying busy: He'll play a Gulf War Marine in Jarhead (for which he got a temporary tattoo on his head), a fighter pilot in Stealth, and will costar with Colin Farrell in the big-screen version of Miami Vice.
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LIFE OF THE PARTY
Known as a world-class reveler, Foxx is often spotted clubbing in New York, L.A. and Miami (like on New Year's Eve) with his large group of friends that includes "everybody from hoodlums to executives," says pal Brian McKnight.
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Foxx, who performed a tribute to Ray Charles with Alicia Keys at the Grammys (on Feb. 13), attended San Diego's United States International University on a piano scholarship. Expect more music from the actor: He's in the process of working on an RampB album. "You've got to make things happen," says Foxx. "You've got to have a lot of things in the air."