Virginia Fox
Fox in The Blacksmith, 1922
Virginia Oglesby Fox

April 19 (year of birth disputed)
DiedOctober 14, 1982
Resting placeWestwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery
Years active1915–1929
SpouseDarryl F. Zanuck (1924–1979)
Children3, including Richard D. Zanuck
RelativesDean Zanuck (grandson)

Virginia Oglesby Zanuck (/ˈzænək/; née Fox; April 19 (year of birth disputed)[Note 1]October 14, 1982) was an American actress who starred in many silent films of the 1910s and 1920s.

Life and career

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Fox was born as Virginia Oglesby Fox in Wheeling, West Virginia (though her grave erroneously lists Charleston, West Virginia, as her place of birth), the daughter of Mary Elizabeth (née Oglesby) and Frederick Fox.[7]

While on vacation from boarding school, Fox traveled to visit a friend in Los Angeles. The two made a casual stop by the studio of Mack Sennett, where she was hired on the spot and made a bathing beauty in the studio's films. She went on to star as leading lady in many of the early films of Buster Keaton, including 1920's highly regarded Neighbors.[2]

On January 12, 1924, she married film producer Darryl F. Zanuck, with whom she had three children, Darrylin, Susan Marie, and Richard Darryl. Fox retired from acting but was known as a behind-the-scenes influence on her husband's business decisions. The couple separated in 1956 over the studio mogul's affairs with other women, although they never legally divorced. According to Zanuck biographers, she cared for him at their home from the time he became mentally incapacitated in the early 1970s until his death in 1979.

Despite some Internet accounts to the contrary, Virginia Fox was not related to William Fox, whose name is preserved in the 20th Century Fox film studio, which Darryl Zanuck created and led for decades. William Fox founded Fox Studios but had lost control of it by the time Zanuck acquired it and merged it into his own empire.


Virginia Fox Zanuck's tomb in Westwood Memorial Park, Westwood, Los Angeles, California

On October 14, 1982, Fox died of a lung infection complicated by emphysema at her home in Santa Monica, California after having been sick for about a year.[8] She was buried near Darryl Zanuck at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, Los Angeles.[9]


Year Film Role Notes
1915 A Submarine Pirate
1920 Down on the Farm uncredited
Neighbors The Bride
1921 The Haunted House Bank President's Daughter
Hard Luck Virginia
The Goat Chief's daughter
The Playhouse Twin Uncredited
1922 The Paleface Indian Maiden Uncredited
Cops Mayor's Daughter
1922 The Blacksmith Horsewoman
The Electric House Girl Uncredited
1923 The Love Nest The Girl
1926 The Caveman Party Girl


  1. ^ The year of her birth is unknown as birth records in West Virginia were not mandated until 1917.[1] It has been listed as 1899[2] or 1902[3] or 1903[4] or 1906[5] The 1910 Census states she was 9 years old when it was taken on April 15, 1910.[6]


  1. ^ "How to Find West Virginia Birth Records". FamilySearch. Retrieved 2023-12-24.
  2. ^ a b Gussow, Mel (October 15, 1982). "Virginia F. Zanuck, Silent Movie Star". The New York Times. Retrieved October 31, 2022.
  3. ^ Biodata, Accessed November 27, 2022.
  4. ^ ZANUCK, VIRGINIA was born 19 April 1903, received Social Security number 558-66-0352 (indicating California) and, Death Master File says, died October 1982 Source: Death Master File (public domain).
  5. ^ Virginia Fox Zanuck gravestone, Accessed November 27, 2022.
  6. ^ "". FamilySearch.
  7. ^ Harris, Marlys J. (1989). The Zanucks of Hollywood: the dark legacy of an American dynasty. Crown Publishers. ISBN 9780517570203.
  8. ^ "V. Zanuck, widow of film tycoon". Chicago Tribune. October 15, 1982. p. 8. Retrieved November 7, 2020 – via
  9. ^ Ferrell, Sarah (August 13, 1995). "R.I.P. in L.A." The New York Times. Retrieved October 31, 2022.