26 May 1978
|Children||Winston James Fox
Eugene Pip Fox
Laurence Paul Fox (born 26 May 1978) is an English actor and musician, best known for his leading role as Detective Sergeant James Hathaway in the British TV drama series Lewis (2006–2013). He is the son of a show business family: his father is the actor James Fox; Edward Fox and Robert Fox are both uncles, and his cousin Emilia and sister Lydia also have successful acting careers.
Fox's rebellious nature led to difficult times at Harrow School and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). His first break into film was in the horror-thriller The Hole (2001), which he followed up with a part in Gosford Park (2001). After playing a number of German and British soldiers, his performance in Colditz (2005) was noticed. This led to his being offered the role in Lewis, seven series of which have been produced and aired between 2006 and 2013.
Fox has portrayed Prince Charles, in Whatever Love Means (2005); Wisley, one of Jane Austen's suitors, in Becoming Jane (2007); and Sir Christopher Hatton, the Lord Chancellor of England in Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007). Fox was seen on ITV as Cecil Vyse in Andrew Davies' adaptation of A Room with a View (2007) based on E.M. Forster's 1908 novel.
On stage, Fox has appeared in George Bernard Shaw's Mrs. Warren's Profession (2002), John Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (2005), Christopher Hampton's Treats (2006–07), and the 2012 revival of Our Boys.
Early years and education
The third of five children of actor James Fox and his wife Mary Elizabeth Piper, and a great-grandson of dramatist Frederick Lonsdale, Laurence Fox was born in 1978 in Yorkshire, England. At the age of 13 he entered Harrow School where, according to him, he was "shy around women, sensitive and a bit naive". Although he made friends and liked the drama teacher, he hated the school's strict regime and felt despised and out of place among pupils with titles and wealth. Constantly in trouble for smoking, fighting, going into town and seeing girls, he was eventually expelled a few weeks before his A-levels. According to him, "It was something to do with a girl at a dance. I went back to take the exams, but I wasn't allowed to speak to anyone." In hindsight, Fox has said that his experience at Harrow enabled him to portray "toffs" – the upper class boys looking down on him and whom he disliked – with much insight and cynicism.
Despite doing well in his A-level examinations, because of the report that Harrow had written on him, he was unable to obtain a place at any university. After working as a gardener for two years, and a stint as an office worker which he loathed, he discovered that he enjoyed acting and enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). During his time there he appeared in numerous theatre productions, including the lead roles of Gregers Werle in Ibsen's The Wild Duck, Marcus Andronicus in Titus Andronicus, and Stephen Daedalus in an adaptation of James Joyce's novel Ulysses. However, he was disappointed to find that he was treated "like a nonce" for being an Old Harrovian. He also made himself more unpopular by being outspoken and taking on roles in his second and third years despite the practice being forbidden by school policy. One of these was his first break into film – the 2001 horror-thriller The Hole. Fox feels that in landing the role his name "probably helped – it's a combination of timing, luck and contacts". Nonetheless, "[t]he name opens some doors, but then you have to show you can do the job".
Fox, who graduated from RADA on 1 July 2001, followed up The Hole by appearing in Robert Altman's 2001 Academy award-winning film Gosford Park. He then donned uniforms in a slew of film and television features, including roles as a German airman in Island at War (2004), an SS officer in The Last Drop (2005), and as British soldiers in the 2002 films Deathwatch and Ultimate Force, and in Colditz (2005). In the last made-for-television film, Fox played Capt. Tom Willis who, after an unsuccessful attempt to break out of a prisoner-of-war camp, is brought to Oflag IV-C in Colditz Castle, one of the most infamous German POW camps for officers in World War II. Actor Kevin Whately caught Fox's performance in the last ten minutes of the film, which he characterised as "this young English boy going bonkers and wandering out to be shot", and thought "He's interesting." The next day, at a lunch meeting with "all the powers that be" regarding a new project, Whately mentioned that Fox "would be worth taking a look at".
As a result, Fox was cast in the ITV detective drama Lewis as Detective Sergeant James Hathaway, a Cambridge-educated former trainee priest who becomes the partner of Detective Inspector Robert Lewis, played by Whately. The pilot of this spin-off from Inspector Morse (1987–2000), was ITV's highest rated drama of 2006.
Real persons that Fox has portrayed include Prince Charles, in Whatever Love Means (2005); Wisley, one of Jane Austen's suitors, in Becoming Jane (2007); and Sir Christopher Hatton, the Lord Chancellor of England in Elizabeth: The Golden Age, also released in 2007. In addition, in that year Fox was seen on ITV as Cecil Vyse in Andrew Davies' adaptation of A Room with a View based on E.M. Forster's 1908 novel. He has expressed a desire to appear in a western, and to star as James Bond – the closest he got to the latter was losing the role of villain Gustav Graves in Die Another Day (2002) to Toby Stephens.
On stage, Fox appeared in Mrs. Warren's Profession by George Bernard Shaw at the Strand Theatre (now the Novello Theatre) in London in 2002, and John Ford's 17th-century play 'Tis Pity She's a Whore in 2005. Between 2006 and 2007 he starred in Treats by Christopher Hampton with his future wife, Billie Piper. In April 2007, Fox lost his temper with a paparazzi photographer outside the Garrick Theatre in London where he was performing in Treats and was arrested for assault. He was later released after receiving a police caution. Newspaper reports stated that the caution would remain on his record for three years and might prevent his obtaining a visa to perform in the US.
Fox dated British actress Billie Piper in 2006 while they performed together in the stage play Treats. On 31 December 2007 Fox married Piper in the 12th century parish church of St. Mary's in Easebourne, West Sussex. During a 21 February 2008 interview on ITV breakfast show GMTV, Fox revealed that after a "drunken lunch" during their honeymoon in Mexico he and Piper got matching tattoos to celebrate their marriage. His tattoo, on his forearm, reads "Mrs Fox 31 December 2007", while hers states "Mr Fox". Fox and Piper live in a country cottage in the market town of Midhurst in West Sussex. In March 2008 it was reported that Piper had expressed to family and friends a desire to adopt children as well as to have children of her own with Fox. On 27 April 2008 The Sun, quoting an unnamed source, announced that Piper was three months' pregnant and that she and Fox were "absolutely over the moon". On 21 October 2008, Piper gave birth to a son, Winston James Fox (6 pounds 11 ounces (3.0 kg)), by emergency Caesarean section. Piper gave birth to their second son, Eugene Pip, on 5 April 2012.
Fox's siblings are Tom (born 1975), Robin (1976), Lydia (1979) and Jack (1985); Lydia Fox is herself an actress. His uncles are the actor Edward Fox and the theatrical and film producer Robert Fox. The actors Emilia Fox and Freddie Fox are his first cousins, being the children of Edward Fox.
|Film||Role||Awards and nominations|
|2001||The Hole||Geoff Bingham|
|2001||Gosford Park||Lord Rupert Standish|
|2002||Deathwatch||Capt. Bramwell Jennings|
|2003||Al sur de Granada (South from Granada)||Ralph Partridge|
|2007||Becoming Jane||Mr. Wisley|
|2007||Elizabeth: The Golden Age||Sir Christopher Hatton|
Some information in this table was obtained from Laurence Fox: Filmography, Internet Movie Database (IMDb), retrieved 16 March 2008.
|Film or series||Role||Awards and nominations|
|Ultimate Force (2002–2006)
"Something to Do with Justice"
|Cpl. Mick Sharp|
|Foyle's War (2002–present)
|2004||Island at War||Airman Bernhardt Tellemann|
|2004||AD/BC: A Rock Opera||Townsfolk|
|2005||Colditz||Capt. Tom Willis|
|2005||The Last Drop||SS Maj. Kessler|
"The Killing of Johnny Swan"
"The Search for Tutankhamun"
|2005||Whatever Love Means||Charles, Prince of Wales|
|2006–2013||Lewis||D.S. James Hathaway|
|2006||Agatha Christie's Marple: The Sittaford Mystery||James Pearson|
|2007||A Room with a View||Cecil Vyse|
|2011||Fast Freddie, The Widow and Me||Jonathan Donald|
Some information in this table was obtained from Laurence Fox: Filmography, Internet Movie Database (IMDb), retrieved 16 March 2008.
|Production||Role||Awards and nominations|
|19–28 October 2000||Kit's Play
by Howard Brenton
Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre, London, England
|The DG/Earl of Northumberland|
|[While at RADA]||The Wild Duck (1884)
by Henrik Ibsen
|[While at RADA]||Titus Andronicus (1584 – early 1590s)
by William Shakespeare
|[While at RADA]||Ulysses
based on the James Joyce novel first published in its entirety in 1922
|[While at RADA]||The Wild Goose Chase (1652)
by John Fletcher
|[While at RADA]||The Provoked Wife (17th century)
by John Vanbrugh
|8–17 February 2001||Hobson's Choice (first performed 1916)
by Harold Brighouse
Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre, London, England
|2002||Mrs Warren's Profession (1893)
by George Bernard Shaw
Strand Theatre, London, England
|2005||'Tis Pity She's a Whore (first performed 1629–1633)
by John Ford
Southwark Playhouse, London, England; and United Kingdom tour
by Christopher Hampton
|2012||Our Boys (1993)
by Jonathan Guy Lewis
Duchess Theatre, London, England
Some information in this table was obtained from the following websites: Laurence Fox, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, archived from the original on 3 February 2008, retrieved 18 March 2008; Laurence Fox: Other works, Internet Movie Database (IMDb), retrieved 16 March 2008.
- Sorry for My Words (2013).
- "So Be Damned" (2013).
- Shearing, Caroline (29 February 2008), "Laurence Fox's heaven and hell: British actor Laurence Fox – star of ITV's spin-off series Lewis – talks to Caroline Shearing about his best and worst holiday experiences", The Daily Telegraph (Travel).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Laurence Fox.|
- Laurence Fox on Twitter
- Official Homepage
- Laurence Fox at the Internet Movie Database
- Laurence Fox at BBC Music
- Laurence Fox discography at MusicBrainz
- Laurence Fox at Fandango
- Laurence Fox at Hello!
- Biography for James Fox, Internet Movie Database (IMDb), retrieved 19 March 2008.
- Lundy, Darryl (30 January 2006), Laurence Fox, M, #183080, b. circa 1978, ThePeerage.com: A Genealogical Survey of the Peerage of Britain as well as the Royal Families of Europe, retrieved 19 March 2008[unreliable source].
- Laurence Fox's father James was the son of Major Robin Fox, who married Angela Muriel Darita Worthington, daughter of Frederick Lonsdale: Lundy, Darryl (15 January 2006), Major Robin Fox, M, #180016, d. 1972, ThePeerage.com: A Genealogical Survey of the Peerage of Britain as well as the Royal Families of Europe, retrieved 19 March 2008[unreliable source].
- Biography for Laurence Fox, Internet Movie Database (IMDb), retrieved 16 March 2008.
- Elizabeth Grice (16 December 2005), "The young pretender", The Daily Telegraph.
- Damian Whitworth (28 December 2007), "The face: Laurence Fox: He's got that luvvy feeling", The Times.
- Cassandra Jardine (1 November 2002), "'I wished Dad was a hell-raiser'", The Daily Telegraph.
- Laurence Fox, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, archived from the original on 3 February 2008, retrieved 18 March 2008.
- Graduate directory: Fox, Laurence, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, archived from the original on 16 July 2009, retrieved 16 July 2009; Graduate actors – 2001 part 1, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, archived from the original on 25 December 2007, retrieved 19 March 2008.
- Gerard Gilbert (12 January 2006), "Kevin Whately: An inspector calls", The Independent.
- Laurence Fox interview, ITV, 16 August 2007, retrieved 16 March 2008.
- Tom Peterkin (28 May 2005), "Royal love stories to be retold on TV", The Daily Telegraph; Andrew Anthony (1 January 2006), "Even Bragg was boggled [review of Whatever Love Means]", The Guardian.
- Siobhan Duck (12 March 2008), "Lewis' Laurence Fox brooks the idea of playing James Bond", Herald Sun.
- Rhoda Koenig (16 October 2002), "Mrs Warren's Profession, Strand Theatre, London", The Independent.
- Michael Coveney (5 October 2005), "'Tis Pity She's A Whore, Southwark Playhouse, London", The Independent; Charles Spencer (12 October 2005), "Heady mix of sex and gore", The Daily Telegraph.
- Tickets now on sale for Treats at the Garrick Theatre, London Theatre Guide, 28 December 2006, retrieved 16 March 2008; Treats reviews, Albemarle of London, 2007, retrieved 17 March 2008; Treats – Richmond Theatre, IndieLondon, 2007, retrieved 16 March 2008; Charles Spencer (9 March 2007), "Treat yourself to a sick note, Billie", The Daily Telegraph; Michael Billington (9 March 2007), "Treats, Garrick Theatre, London", The Guardian; Alice Jones (9 March 2007), "First Night: Treats, Garrick Theatre, London: Billie finds it hard to shine in two dimensions", The Independent; Review round-up: Was Piper treated to good notices?, Whatsonstage.com, 9 March 2007, retrieved 17 March 2008; Viv Groskop (11 March 2007), "The method in Billie's maladies: Despite – or because of? – her turbulent week, Billie Piper's stage debut is a triumph", The Guardian.
- Fox 'bitterly regrets' assault arrest, Contactmusic.com, 23 April 2007, retrieved 16 March 2008; "Billie's brawling lover arrested", Daily Star, 23 April 2007; Updated, Last (24 April 2007), "Slap rap for Billie's boyfriend", The Sun.
- Serena Davies (23 February 2008), "Lewis: A class double act", The Daily Telegraph. In an interview with TV Choice published in April 2010, Fox expressed amusement at this quote by him: "[M]y Wikipedia page is the most horrific thing in the world. It quotes me as saying, 'There ain't no method to my acting' or something like that!" (Mary Comerford (27 April 2010), "Interview Extra: Kevin Whately, Lewis", TV Choice, archived from the original on 8 July 2010)
- Kathryn Knight; Clemmie Moodie (4 June 2007), "Chris Evans and Billie: A very bizarre divorce", Daily Mail.
- Church wedding for Piper and Fox, BBC News, 31 December 2007.
- Hilary Osborne (31 December 2007), "Stars respond to Piper's wedding call", The Guardian; Helen Pidd (1 January 2008), "Billie Piper goes traditional for her second wedding", The Guardian; Paul Harris (2 January 2008), "Billie Piper and Laurence Fox tie the knot at their quintessential English wedding", Daily Mail; Sophie Borland (4 January 2008), "Billie Piper's New Year's Eve wedding", The Daily Telegraph; The things they say 7468, Contactmusic.com, 2 March 2008, retrieved 16 March 2008; "Billie Piper and Laurence Fox wedding photos", Marie Claire, retrieved 16 March 2008.
- "Billie and Laurence Fox's inky dedication", Daily Express, 22 February 2008; Womack, Stephen (22 February 2008), "Crazy ink love: Billie Piper and Laurence Fox get tattoos to mark their wedding", Daily Mail; Fiona Cummins (22 February 2008), "Billie Piper and Laurence Fox get tattoos to mark their wedding", The Daily Mirror; Sara Nathan, ed. (22 February 2008), "Fox-y Billie Piper is so ink love", The Sun.
- Catherine Evans (9 March 2008), "Billie Piper and her husband Laurence Fox are planning to adopt a child", Wales on Sunday (reproduced on icWales.co.uk).
- Sara Nathan; Emma Cox (26 April 2008), "Billie: Yes, I'm having a baby", The Sun; see also Richard Simpson (24 April 2008), "Could that be a baby bump you're patting, Billie?", Daily Mail; "Is Billie Piper pregnant? Singer shows off baby bump while on holiday", OK!, 24 April 2008; Sara Nathan; Emma Cox (24 April 2008), "Billie Piper's tum pat on beach", The Sun.
- Chris Evans (21 October 08), Winston James Fox, welcome to Planet Earth, Chris Evans blog, BBC, archived from the original on 22 October 2008, retrieved 22 October 2008 ; Phil Boucher; Laura Roberts (22 October 2008), "Billie's 'looking wonderful, says ex-husband (and first visitor) Chris Evans after her 24 hours in labour", Daily Mail; "Billie Piper and Gillian Anderson give birth", The Belfast Telegraph, 22 October 2008.
- Bull, Sarah. "Billie Piper and Laurence Fox welcome second son together". Daily Mail.
- Lydia Fox at the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 19 March 2008. Lydia Fox is married to actor Richard Ayoade: Biography for Richard Ayoade, Internet Movie Database (IMDb), retrieved 10 January 2009.
- Lundy, Darryl (8 December 2007), Emilia Fox, F, #180027, b. 31 July 1974, ThePeerage.com: A Genealogical Survey of the Peerage of Britain as well as the Royal Families of Europe, retrieved 19 March 2008[unreliable source].
- Fox uneasy working with Knightley, Contactmusic.com, 29 February 2008, retrieved 16 March 2008.
- James Rampton (24 March 2005), "Dancing out of Colditz", The Independent.
- Benji Wilson (March 2007), "Laurence Fox Q&A", Radio Times .
- Autumn 2000 productions, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, [2000–2001], archived from the original on 26 December 2007, retrieved 19 March 2008 ; 2000–2001 final year productions [notes], Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, [2000–2001], archived from the original on 18 August 2007, retrieved 19 March 2008 .
- Spring 2001 productions, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, [2000–2001], archived from the original on 26 December 2007, retrieved 19 March 2007 ; 2000–2001 final year productions [notes], Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, [2000–2001], archived from the original on 17 August 2007, retrieved 19 March 2008 .
- Alice Jones (21 March 2013), "The fantastic Fox family; and stitching up the critics", The Independent.
- Andy Morris (26 February 2013), "Lewis be damned: Check out Laurence Fox's emotional new single", GQ.