Friday, August 7, 2015

Redd Foxx Saves

LaWanda Page's performance in Sanford & Son as Aunt Esther has become classic TV. Who else could play the cantankerous church lady who loves to hate the boorish Fred Sanford?

NBC, however, thought someone else should. LaWanda was used to the world of standup. She struggled with the sitcom pacing required for a television comedy. NBC wanted her replaced. Redd Foxx, however, would have none of it. He had known LaWanda for years and trusted that she was the only person who could play Aunt Esther. He told NBC that if LaWanda was fired, he would leave alongside her. NBC caved in and LaWanda proved them wrong. She was the perfect Aunt Esther, remembered far and wide for the laughs she has provided to generations of television viewers.