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Edward Fox

Edward Charles Morice Fox, OBE (born 13 April 1937) is an English stage, film and television actor.

He is generally associated with portraying the role of the upper-class Englishman, such as the title character in the film The Day of the Jackal (1973) and King Edward VIII in the serial Edward & Mrs. Simpson (1978).

Early life and education[]

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 the industrialist and inventor Samson Fox, and his paternal grandmother was Hilda Hanbury, sister of the stage performer Lily Hanbury. His maternal grandfather was the dramatist Frederick Lonsdale, and his maternal grandmother was the daughter of football player and stockbroker Charles Morice. He was educated at Harrow School in northwest London and served as a lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards, a regiment of the British Army.


Fox made his theatrical début in 1958, 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 (1970). 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 wasn't well-known and could be believable as the assassin in the film The Day of the Jackal. Fox won the role, beating out other contenders such as Roger Moore and Michael Caine.

From then onwards, 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 yet another 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, 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).

Later stage work[]

He 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 by 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.


For his role as Lord Hugh Trimingham in The Go-Between (1970), 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.

In 2003, he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his services to theatre and British cinema.

Personal life[]

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 U.K., and is a member of the Savile Club, a London gentlemen's club. He also supported the restoration of the Royal Hall, Harrogate, funded by his great-grandfather Samson Fox.

Partial filmography[]

  • Thoroughly Modern Millie ( 1967)

Oh! What a Lovely War (1969)

  • The Breaking of Bumbo (1970)
  • Skullduggery (1970)
  • The Go-Between (1970)
  • A Doll's House (1973)
  • The Day of the Jackal (1973)
  • Galileo (1975)
  • The Duellists (1977)
  • Soldaat van Oranje (1977)
  • A Bridge Too Far (1977)
  • The Squeeze (1977)
  • The Big Sleep (1978)
  • Force 10 from Navarone (1978)
  • The Cat and the Canary (1979)
  • The Mirror Crack'd (1980) as Inspector Craddock
  • Gandhi (1982)
  • Never Say Never Again (1983)
  • The Dresser (1983)
  • The Bounty (1984)
  • Wild Geese II (1985)
  • The Shooting Party (1985)
  • Shaka Zulu (1986)
  • Return from the River Kwai (1989)
  • Robin Hood (1991)
  • Sherwood's Travels (1994)
  • A Feast at Midnight (1995)
  • Gulliver's Travels (1996)
  • A Month by the Lake (1996)
  • All the Queen's Men (2001)
  • Nicholas Nickleby (2002)
  • The Importance of Being Earnest (2002)
  • Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Hollow (2004) as Gudgeon
  • Agatha Christie's Marple: The Secret of Chimneys (2010) as Lord Caterham
  • Midsomer Murders Dark Secrets (2011)

Other projects and contributions[]

  • When Love Speaks (2002, EMI Classics) - William Shakespeare's "Sonnet 140" ("Be wise as thou art cruel; do not press"), a compilation album that features interpretations of Shakespeare's sonnets and excerpts from his plays by famous actors and musicians.