Edward Fox OBE
(1937- )
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Born on April 13 1937, Edward was the eldest son of agent Robin Fox and brother James Fox, who was also set to become an actor. After being educated in Harrow, he served as a Lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards although this didn't last long. He then attended RADA and started some acting in repertory theatre, making the transition to the screen appearing uncredited as a barman in Lindsay Anderson's 'This Sporting Life' (1963).

Fox spent the first few years of his career in the shadow of his longer-established younger sibling. He was heavily involved in a range of fairly forgettable TV roles (as were many british actors) bu all this changed when he was cast as Viscount Trimingham in the 1970 film 'The Go-Between'. It delineates the rigid class divisions prevalent in England at that time. A story of forbidden love between a tenant farmer, Ted Burgess (Bates), and Marian Maudsley (Christie), the daughter of the neighbouring landowners. Fox is brilliant playing the third man in the romance, the war veteran. For this he won this first of three BAFTA's.

Sucess breeds success and although still not particulary well known, Fred Zimmerman recognised his talent and offered him the part of the the charismatic but cold-blooded international assassin, The Jackal, in ‘Day of the Jackal’ (1973).

This was one of the best films of all time, many reviewers commented that Fox was so believable and determined to go through with his assignment to kill De Gaulle that at times the audience believed he was actually going to get away with it. The portrayal was superb and he had every aspect and detail of the assassin 'down to tee' (an english colloqailism). Fox somehow managed to keep the tension at boiling point especially during the latter half of the movue. Film morality develops to the forefront of the movie as he manages to transfer the character into an anti-hero and you begin to get so fascinated by the killer that you end up hoping they never catch him.

Attention should be brought also to his role in ‘A Bridge too Far’ (1977) as Lt Gen Horrocks of 30 Corp. He certainly had the experience for the part (and yes it showed) he had served as an officer in the Coldstream Guards (one of the most prestigious regiments in the British Army) . Playing a classic English guards officer, his speech to all his officers (which really occurred) was highly stirring, moving and comic – not easy to combine well into one.

 


 

 

 

 

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