James Fox was born in London in 1939 to a father who was a well known
theatrical agent. His brother, Edward, born in 1937, would eventually
become an international film star in his own right. In a career that
spans more than 50 years, James has established himself as a highly
distinguished actor with over 50 film and television roles to his
made his film debut as a child actor in 1950, using his own name, William
Fox. His first movie was ‘The Miniver Story’ (1950), a Hollywood-financed
sequel to 1942's ‘Mrs. Miniver’. The best of the actor's
earliest appearances was in ‘The Magnet’ (1950), in which
11-year-old Fox played a fun-loving young boy at play with his mates. He
appeared the next year in the classic Ealing comedy ‘The Lavender
Hill Mob’ (1951) which starred Alec Guinness.
his education, Fox resumed his acting career in earnest. He appeared
in ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner’ (1961) and
many television productions. In 1962 Dirk Bogarde was watching a television
play and was struck by the magnetism of its young star Maurice Oliver.
At the time Bogarde and, Joseph Losey were beginning casting on The
Servant. Bogarde was convinced that Maurice Oliver was the perfect choice
for the role of Tony, a role Bogarde himself had initially planned on
playing. After telephoning a certain British theatrical agent, Bogarde
asked him if he knew who this talented young actor was. The agent knew
Maurice Oliver very well, He was James Fox, the agent's son. Soon thereafter
actress Sarah Miles was asked to portray the role of Vera and mentioned
that she thought her boyfriend James Fox would perfect for the role
of Tony. Bogarde and, Losey were astounded and stated that was exactly
who they wanted for the role. After his performance in The Servant (1963),
Fox again appeared with Miles in the big budget American film ‘Those
Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines’ (1964). Fox spent the
better part of the decade as a leading man or featured player in major
American and British films.
mention should be made of his role in ‘King Rat’ (1965).
There are many World War II prison camp films, but King Rat stands out
for its gritty treatment of how prisoners survived. Fox plays an RAF
Officer who eventually redeems George Segals character; against all
the odds. Supporting British actors are there in aplenty - Denholm Elliott,
Sir John Mills, Leonard Rossiter and James Donald. Brian Forbes can
be proud of this film, not the least for the outstanding photography,
(Oscar-nominated), and excellent acting.