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James Fox (1939- )

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.At the age of ten James (then billed as William Fox) appeared in the sequel to one of the 1940s most popular films.The Miniver Story(1950) was his film debut.He appeared the next year in the classic Ealing comedy The Lavender Hill Mob(1951) which starred Alec Guinness.

Following his education,young 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 actess 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 both major American and,British films.

In 1970 Fox played Chas in Nicholas Roeg's harrowing film Performance(1970).This film presented Fox with a role that was a radical departure from his usual leading man and,light comedy mainstay.The story starts as a fast paced and violent London crime drama then switches gears less than half way through.Chas(Fox) a brutal cockney thug must go into hiding after killing two members of a rival gang.He ends up lodging in a strange house occupied by former Rock Star Turner(Mick Jagger) and his strange household of bohemian women.During this time,Chas comes to question his own perceptions and,definitions of gender roles and violence.Opinions on this film have been widely divided with some hailing it as a grounbreaking masterpiece,others considering it amongst the worst movies of all time.In any case Performance like The Servant is more of an experience than a mere film.

Following the release of Performance,Fox himself began to search for answers to many spiritual issues and,opted to abandon film making all together.James Fox would now concentrate on his spirituality and,to his chosen Evangelical ministries.With the exception of a religious film he released in 1978 James Fox would not be seen in a film again until the 1980s

In 1983 James Fox returned to film acting with Runners and has rarely been off the screen since.Now in his mid 40s,he was still as handsome as in his heyday though clearly older.He appeared in two of 1984's biggest hits,Passage to India and Greystoke:Legend of Tarzan.He also appeared in the late 1950s themed film musical Absolute Beginners(1986).

As the 1990s arrived,Fox was as busy as ever.He played the British Royal who is saved from assasination by Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) in Patriot Games (1992) and a superb performance in Remains of the Day(1993).This film provided Fox with a role that was a semi-reprise of his Servant role.As the well meaning British aristocrat duped by the Nazis in 1930s Great Britain,Fox gives as standout portrayal.James Fox continues to be a very visible and welcome presence in British and American films.

James Fox Filmography

(above)James Fox promoting The Servantwith Wendy Craig and, Dirk Bogarde.Right,Fox (Below) with brother actor Edward Fox,their mother,Angela Fox and,brother Robert Fox.