Fox in 2011
Edward Charles Morice Fox|
13 April 1937
Chelsea, London, England
(m. 1958; div. 1961)
Joanna David (m. 2004)
|Children||3; including Emilia Fox and Frederick "Freddie" Fox|
|Years of service||1958-1960|
|Unit||Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire)|
He played the part of the professional assassin, known only as the "Jackal", who is hired to assassinate the French president Charles de Gaulle in the summer of 1963, in the film The Day of the Jackal (1973).
Fox was born in Chelsea, London, the son of Robin Fox, a theatrical agent, and Angela Muriel Darita Worthington, an actress and writer. He is the elder brother of actor James Fox and film producer Robert Fox, and an uncle of actor Laurence Fox. His paternal great-grandfather was industrialist and inventor Samson Fox, and his paternal grandmother was Hilda Hanbury, sister of stage performer Lily Hanbury. His maternal grandfather was dramatist Frederick Lonsdale, and his maternal grandmother was the daughter of football player and stockbroker Charles Morice. Fox was educated at Harrow School and completed his National Service in the Loyals, having failed to gain a commission in the Coldstream Guards.
Fox made his theatrical debut in 1958[clarification needed], and his first film appearance was as an extra in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962). He also had a non-speaking part as a waiter in This Sporting Life (1963). Throughout the 1960s he worked mostly on stage, including a turn as Hamlet. In the late 1960s and early 1970s he established himself with roles in major British films, including Oh! What a Lovely War (1969), Battle of Britain (1969) and The Go-Between (1971). In The Go-Between, he played the part of Lord Hugh Trimingham, for which he won a BAFTA award for Best Supporting Actor. His acting ability also brought him to the attention of director Fred Zinnemann, who was looking for an actor who was not well-known and could be believable as the assassin in the film The Day of the Jackal (1973). Fox won the role, beating other contenders such as Roger Moore and Michael Caine.
From then on he was much sought after, appearing in such films as A Bridge Too Far (1977) as Lieutenant General Horrocks, a role he has cited as a personal favourite, and for which he won the Best Supporting Actor award at the British Academy Film Awards. He also starred in Force 10 from Navarone (1978), with Robert Shaw and Harrison Ford.
He portrayed King Edward VIII in the television drama Edward & Mrs. Simpson (1978). In the film Gandhi (1982), Fox portrayed Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer, who was responsible for the Amritsar massacre in India. He then appeared as M in the unofficial Bond film Never Say Never Again (1983), a remake of Thunderball (1965). He also appeared in The Bounty (1984) and Wild Geese II (1985) both opposite Laurence Olivier, and in The Importance of Being Earnest (2002), Nicholas Nickleby (2002), and Stage Beauty (2004).
Fox has consolidated his reputation with regular appearances on stage in London's West End. He was seen in Four Quartets, a set of four poems by T. S. Eliot, accompanied by the keyboard music of Johann Sebastian Bach, performed by Christine Croshaw. In 2010, Fox performed a one-man show, An Evening with Anthony Trollope, directed by Richard Digby Day. In 2013, he replaced Robert Hardy in the role of Winston Churchill in the premiere of The Audience, after Hardy had to withdraw for health reasons.
For his role as Viscount Trimingham in The Go-Between (1971), he won Best Supporting Actor award at the following year's British Academy Film Awards.
For his role as Lieutenant General Horrocks in A Bridge Too Far (1977), he won the Best Supporting Actor award at the British Academy Film Awards.
Fox has been married twice, to actresses Tracy Reed (1958-1961) and Joanna David (from July 2004, after a long-standing relationship). He has a daughter, Lucy, Viscountess Gormanston, by Reed, and two children, Emilia Fox and Freddie Fox, with David.