Edward Charles Morrice Fox
(born 13 April
) is an English
stage, film and television actor
. He is generally associated with the role of an upper-class Englishman. He is known particularly for playing the title role in the film The Day of the Jackal
(1973) and for his portrayal of Edward VIII
in the television miniseries Edward and Mrs Simpson
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
. He is also a paternal half-brother of Daniel Chatto
and a half-brother-in-law of Lady Sarah Chatto
. His maternal grandfather was the dramatist Frederick Lonsdale
. Fox is also the great grandson of industrialist Samson Fox. He was educated at Harrow
and served as a Lieutenant
in the Coldstream Guards
Fox's theatre debut was in 1958, and his first film appearance in 1963, as an extra in This Sporting Life
. In the late 1960s and early 1970s he established himself with roles in major British films such as Oh! What a Lovely War
(1969), Battle of Britain
(1969) and The Go-Between
(1970), however, it was as the assassin in The Day of the Jackal
(1973) that he made his greatest impression. From then onwards, he was much sought after, appearing in such films as A Bridge Too Far
(1977) and Force 10 From Navarone
(1978), with Robert Shaw
and Harrison Ford
. In 1978 he portrayed King Edward VIII
in the television drama, Edward and Mrs Simpson
. In the 1982 film Gandhi
, Fox portrayed the controversial Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer
, responsible for the Amritsar Massacre
. He then appeared as M
in the unofficial 1983 James Bond
film Never Say Never Again
, and then with Sir Laurence Olivier
in The Bounty
(1984) and Wild Geese II
More recently, Fox has appeared in The Importance of Being Earnest (2002), Nicolas Nickleby (2002), and Stage Beauty (2004). He has consolidated his reputation with regular appearances on stage in London's West End. He has received particular acclaim for his rendition of T. S. Eliot's Four Quartets at major festivals at home and abroad accompanied by the keyboard music of Johann Sebastian Bach performed by Christine Croshaw.
He was made an OBE in 2003.
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, actress Emilia Fox
and Freddie Fox, with David.
Fox joined the Countryside March to support hunting rights in the United Kingdom, and is a Savilian.
Appearances in popular culture
The post-punk band Smack released the single "Edward Fox" in the early 1980s. The song set a newspaper biography concerning Edward Fox to a musical score.
The biography was published in New Manchester Review
, and the single was produced by Rowland Jones at Drone Studios in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, owned by the late Paul Roberts.