Sitting down on Howard Stern's SiriusXM radio show on Tuesday, Foxx revealed how the beloved media mogul actually staged an intervention for him when his wild partying threatened to consume his career in the months following the release of the 2004 biopic Ray.
"I'm having such a good time and I'm not knowing I'm f**king up," Foxx told Stern, referring to the hard-drinking, indulgent lifestyle he fell into during the 2004-2005 awards season, when he was the odds-on favorite to win the Oscar.
Foxx, who said he was "doing every f**king think you could possibly imagine" at the time, revealed that he eventually received an unexpected call from Winfrey, who told him, "You're blowing it."
"[She said], 'All of this gallivanting and all this kind of s**t, that's not what you want to do… want to take you somewhere. Make you understand the significance of what you're doing.'"
In the interest of showing Foxx a better way to live his life as an influential public figure, Winfrey organized a meeting of several legendary black actors at the home of iconic recording artist Quincy Jones.
"We go in the house and there are all these old actors," he recounted. "Black actors from the '60s and the '70s. Who look like they just want to say, 'Good luck.' They want to say, 'Don't blow it.'"
One of the screen legends Winfrey introduced him to at the meeting was the incomparable Sidney Poitier, who, in 1963, became the first African-American to win the Best Actor Oscar, for his role in Lilies of the Field.
According to Foxx, Poitier told Foxx, "I want to give you responsibility. When I saw your performance [in Ray], it made me grow two inches."
Foxx said that, in that moment, he broke down in tears, and those at the meeting made Foxx understand "the significance" of Poitier's accomplishment.
"To this day, it’s the most significant time in my life," Foxx shared.
Foxx went on the win the Academy Award for his performance in Ray, as well as a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Foxx was the third African-American actor to win the Oscar, following Poitier and Denzel Washington, who walked away with the award in 2001 for Training Day. In 2006, Forest Whitaker became the fourth, for his powerhouse performance in The Last King of Scotland.