James Fox Biography

James Fox is an English actor, best known for his roles in films such as ‘Performance’ and ‘The Servant.’ Born and raised in London, he comes from a highly influential English family with a rich history in the performance arts. With a grandfather who was a playwright, a mother who was an actress, and a father who was a theatrical agent, it was only natural for James to pursue a career in acting. He made his debut at the young age of 11 in the film ‘The Miniver Story’ and took a break to focus on his studies before making a comeback in 1962. Since then, he has appeared in numerous films and television shows, including notable works like ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and ‘Effie Gray.’

Quick Facts

  • Name: William Fox
  • Age: 84 Years
  • Gender: Male
  • Family: Father – Robin Fox
  • Born Country: England
  • Occupation: Actor
  • Height: 6’1″ (185 cm)
  • City: London, England

Childhood & Early Life

James Fox, born as William Fox on May 19, 1939, in London, UK, grew up in an affluent British family with a strong connection to the acting world. He was the middle son in a family of three children and was raised alongside his two brothers in their London mansion. His interest in acting was influenced by his family’s involvement in the profession. His maternal grandfather, Frederick Lonsdale, was a popular playwright, and his mother worked as an actress. His father was a well-known theatrical agent. James attended theaters as a child and began participating in plays. At the age of 10, he decided to pursue screen acting.


After making his screen debut at the age of 11, James took a break to further prepare himself as an actor. He attended Harrow School, where he continued to participate in theater. Following his graduation, he chose to work in defense and joined the Coldstream Guards. In his early 20s, he resumed his acting career and began auditioning for roles in films and television.

James made his acting debut in the 1950 film “The Miniver Story,” playing a small role as Toby Miniver. After a long break, he appeared in the 1962 film “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner,” which is considered his debut performance. He played a supporting role as Gunthorpe in the film, which received critical acclaim but was not a commercial success. Over the next few years, he appeared in key roles in films such as “Tamahine,” “The Servant,” and “King Rat.” With his theatrical background, his performances were highly praised, and he gradually transitioned into lead roles.

One of the first lead roles of his career came in the 1967 film “Arabella,” where he played the lead opposite Virna Lisi. However, the film did not gain much attention. In 1970, he had a breakthrough role in the crime drama film “Performance,” where he played Chas/Johnny Dean. The film was a commercial and critical success, establishing James as a prominent actor in the British film industry. Despite his success, he slipped into depression and took a hiatus from films. He became an evangelical Christian and embarked on a journey of self-discovery. He made a comeback in 1983 with powerful performances in films such as “A Passage to India” and “Runners.” He also made his television debut in 1983 and appeared in various TV films and mini-series.

In the 1990s, James continued his successful film career with notable roles in films like “Anna Karenina” and “Shadow Run.” He continued working in the 2000s with supporting roles in films such as “The Golden Bowl” and “The Prince and Me.” His television credits during this time include appearances in shows like “Agatha Christie’s Poirot” and “The Falklands Play.” His last film appearance was in “Surviving Christmas with the Relatives” in 2018, and his final television appearance was in a single episode of “London Spy” in 2015.

Family & Personal Life

James Fox dated Mary Elizabeth Piper in the 1970s and married her in 1973. They have five children together named Laurence, Lydia, Jack, Robin, and Thomas. Laurence and Lydia pursued careers in acting. James and Mary are still married to this day. Before marrying Mary, James had a relationship with actress Sarah Miles throughout the 1960s.

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