Edward Fox
Fox in 2011
Born (1937-04-13) 13 April 1937 (age 87)
Chelsea, London, England
EducationHarrow School
Years active1958–present
(m. 1958; div. 1961)
(m. 2004)
Children3 including Emilia and Freddie
  • Robin Fox (father)
  • Angela Worthington (mother)
Military career
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service1958–1960
Service number446128
UnitLoyal Regiment (North Lancashire)

Edward Charles Morice Fox OBE (born 13 April 1937) is an English actor and a member of the Fox family.

Fox starred in the film The Day of the Jackal (1973), playing the part of a professional assassin, known only as the "Jackal", who is hired to assassinate the French president Charles de Gaulle in the summer of 1963. Fox is also known for his roles in Battle of Britain (1969), The Go-Between (1971), for which he won a BAFTA award, and The Bounty (1984). He also collaborated with director Richard Attenborough, appearing in his films Oh! What a Lovely War (1969), A Bridge Too Far (1977) and Gandhi (1982).

Fox portrayed Edward VIII in the British television drama series Edward & Mrs. Simpson (1978) and appeared in the historical series Taboo (2017). In addition to film and television work, Fox has received acclaim as a stage actor.

Early life and education

See also: Robin Fox family

Fox was born the first of three sons on 13 April 1937 in Chelsea, London, the son of Robin Fox, a theatrical agent, and Angela Muriel Darita Worthington, an actress and writer.[1] He is the father of actors Emilia Fox and Freddie Fox, 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.[2][3] Fox was educated at Harrow School and completed his National Service in the Loyals, having failed to gain a commission in the Coldstream Guards.[4][5][6][7]


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.[8]

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,[9] 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.

In 1990, he appeared as a contestant on Cluedo, facing off against fellow actor Joanna David.

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).

Later stage work

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. In 2018, he appeared with his son Freddie Fox in an adaption of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband.


For his role as Viscount Trimingham in The Go-Between (1971), he won the Best Supporting Actor Award at the following year's British Academy Film Awards.[10]

He won the Best Supporting Actor Award at the British Academy Film Awards a second time for his role as Lieutenant General Horrocks in A Bridge Too Far (1977).[11]


Fox was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his services to Drama in the 2003 New Year Honours.[12][13]

Personal life

From 1958 until their 1961 divorce, Fox was married to actress Tracy Reed with whom he has a daughter, Lucy Arabella (born 1960), who became the Viscountess Gormanston upon her marriage to Nicholas Preston, Viscount Gormanston.[citation needed] In 1971, he began a relationship with actress Joanna David; they married in July 2004.[14][15] They have two children together, actors Emilia (born 1974) and Frederick "Freddie" (born 1989).[14]

He has two grandchildren through his daughters: Harry Grenfell from Lucy's marriage to David Grenfell, and Rose Gilley from Emilia's relationship with actor Jeremy Gilley.[16]

Fox has residences in London and Wareham, Dorset.[17][18]

Views and advocacy

Fox spoke at the conference for the Referendum Party ahead of the 1997 general election and was a friend of its leader James Goldsmith.[19][20] He has also been a patron of the UK Independence Party.[21]

In 2002, Fox joined the Countryside March to support hunting rights in the UK.[22] He supported the restoration of the Royal Hall, Harrogate, funded by his great-grandfather Samson Fox.

In 2010, Fox gave his support to a local campaign to prevent a supermarket being built close to his home in Dorset, citing the impact it would have upon small and independent businesses in the area. He chronicled the events in an article for The Daily Telegraph.[18]

Fox also endorsed the successful "Leave" vote campaign ahead of the referendum to leave the European Union.[20]


Selected theatre performances

Other projects and contributions


  1. ^ "Edward Fox Biography (1937–)". filmreference.com.
  2. ^ Barratt, Nick. "Family detective". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Players Indez: Charles Morice". England Football Online. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  4. ^ "No. 40722". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 February 1956. p. 1289.
  5. ^ "No. 41359". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 April 1958. p. 2360.
  6. ^ "No. 42226". The London Gazette (Supplement). 20 December 1960. p. 8794.
  7. ^ Massingberd, Hugh (2 July 2004). "The old master". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  8. ^ "Gandhi's General Dyer: Edward Fox was the quintessential Englishman onscreen". Hindustan Times. 13 April 2007. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  9. ^ "A Bridge Too Far (1977)". British Film Institute. 12 March 2008. Archived from the original on 12 March 2008. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  10. ^ "BAFTA Awards". awards.bafta.org.
  11. ^ "BAFTA Awards". awards.bafta.org.
  12. ^ "No. 56797". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2002. p. 10.
  13. ^ Host: Brian Matthew (10 August 1982). "Talking Hamlet". Round Midnight. 6:32 minutes in. BBC Radio 2. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  14. ^ a b Lee-Potter, Words Adam (17 September 2014). "Joanna David talks family, career and shares her favourite things about Dorset". Great British Life. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  15. ^ "Joanna David's first time back in Chichester since 1971". chichester.co.uk. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  16. ^ "Actress Emilia Fox takes her cub to work". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  17. ^ "Our Walks – London Walks". walks.com. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  18. ^ a b Fox, Edward (10 October 2010). "Edward Fox: how I helped save Wareham from the supermarkets". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  19. ^ Carter, Neil; Evans, Mark; Alderman, Keith; Gorham, Simon (1998). "Europe, Goldsmith and the Referendum Party". Parliamentary Affairs. 51 (3): 470–485. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.pa.a028811.
  20. ^ a b "Edward Fox urges leave EU: "Sovereign power is absolute"". 16 May 2016. Archived from the original on 3 February 2021. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  21. ^ "UKIP sprouts as celebrities make a stand on Brussels". The Independent. 25 May 2004. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  22. ^ "Edward Fox – The Consummate Actor". BBC News. 31 December 2002. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  23. ^ Fraser, David (November 1998). The Royal Exchange Theatre Company Words & Pictures 1976–1998. Royal Exchange Theatre. ISBN 978-0951201718.