Charlotte Kate Fox

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Charlotte Kate Fox
Born (1985-08-14) August 14, 1985 (age 38)[1]
Height1.67 m (5 ft 5+12 in)

Charlotte Kate Fox (born August 14, 1985) is an American film, TV, and theatrical actress and musician. She was cast as the first non-Japanese heroine of an NHK asadora (morning drama) in the series Massan, broadcast on Japanese television.

Early life[edit]

Fox was born Charlotte Elizabeth Demo Varney in Santa Fe to her parents, Cynthia Demo and Edward Latin Varney III.[2]

Fox began ballet at the age of five and continued her dancing career until the age of 16, when she began acting in local theater productions.[2]


Fox attended Marymount Manhattan College for seven months to study Theater, but returned to Santa Fe and continued her studies at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design (formerly the College of Santa Fe), where she graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater in 2008.[2]

In 2013, Fox graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from Northern Illinois University.[3] During her time at Northern Illinois University, Fox also attended summer workshops held at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City.[4]

On May 16, 2015, Fox received an honorary doctorate from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design during the commencement ceremony where Fox was the commencement speaker.[5]

Acting career[edit]

Fox began her acting career at the age of 16 when she appeared as an extra in the Starz television series Crash. After that, she appeared in professional and regional theater productions, eventually obtaining her Equity membership while performing in the Actor's Theatre of Charlotte's Venus in Fur as Vanda.[6] She appeared in smaller independent films until she was cast as the first foreign lead of the 150-episode NHK Japanese morning drama Massan playing Ellie, a character based on the real-life Rita Cowan (Taketsuru Rita).[7][8] Fox was chosen from among 521 applicants (232 from Japan, 289 from outside Japan).[9][10]

Fox appeared in all 150 episodes of the asadora. Fox's performance was entirely in Japanese, with the exception of occasional scenes spoken in English, such as retrospective scenes in the character's home in Scotland, which were actually filmed in Japan in locations such as Hokkaido. Fox had not had any prior experience in the Japanese language nor had she visited Japan prior to travelling there to perform her screen test.[11][12] Each line of Fox's script included three additional lines, the first of which was the Romanized script of the Japanese line, followed by the translated line in English, and finally by the word-for-word literal translation in English which follows the Japanese word order. This way Fox would not only learn the Japanese lines but also acknowledge where each word would occur in a given line, thus acting according to the Japanese word order whether the lines were uttered by her or by her co-performers.[13][14] This caused Fox's script to be ten times larger than those of her native Japanese co-actors.[15] "If I had been in Charlotte's position, I would have run away to America," said Tetsuji Tamayama, co-lead who played the eponymous character who is married to Fox's character Ellie.[16] When polled by NHK as to the reasons for watching Massan, 60% of the viewers chose Fox as the reason, second only to the "interesting story and theme" at 65%.[17]

The final episode of Massan aired on March 28, 2015. The show recorded the mean audience ratings of 21.1% through its run, ranking third-highest of the past 20 asadora titles.[18]

In February 2015, an announcement was made that Fox had been cast in the role of the lead character Roxie Hart in the Broadway musical production of Chicago, which has been continuously running at the Ambassador Theatre in New York since 1996. She performed there from November 2 to November 15, 2015.[19][20][21] Fox also performed in Japan on a tour of Chicago in Tokyo from December 4 to December 23, 2015 and in Osaka December 26 and 27, 2015.[22][23]

On August 19, 2015, NHK aired on its satellite broadcasting channel a documentary program entitled あの歌に出会いたい~シャーロットの沖縄歌探しの旅~(I Want to Meet That Song – Charlotte's Journey in Search of Okinawa's Songs), in which Fox was the principal traveler.[24] This was her first trip ever to Okinawa.[25]

On September 5, 2015, TV Asahi of Japan aired a made-for-TV movie entitled 名探偵キャサリン (Detective Catherine), based on the detective novel series by Misa Yamamura (山村美紗), in which Fox performed in the lead role of Catherine Turner, a multilingual Columbia University graduate and the only daughter of a former vice president of the United States. The show was entirely in Japanese, except where English was appropriate, as was the case with Massan.[citation needed]


On April 29, 2015, Fox released a single music CD entitled Gondola no Uta in Japan.[26] She then released an album entitled Wabi Sabi, produced by American artist Kishi Bashi, on August 19, 2015.[27] Fox performed on an eight-city live concert tour in Japan for the new album, starting on August 18, 2015, in Shibuya, Tokyo, and ending in the city of Natori in Miyagi Prefecture on September 8, 2015.[28]


As of August 2015, Fox has appeared in six television commercials in Japan, including those for AEON and Nissan.[citation needed]



  • Buried Cain (2014)
  • Detective Catherine (2015)
  • Meitantei Katherine: Kieta Sôzokunin (2016)
  • The Kodai Family (2016)[29]
  • Eating Women (2018)
  • Talking the Pictures (2019)


  • Crash (2008)
  • Massan (2014–15)
  • Shizumanu Taiyō (2016)
  • Beppinsan (2016–17)
  • Our House (2016)
  • Doctor X (2017)
  • Shachoshitsu no Fuyu (2017)
  • Smartphone in the Brain (2017)
  • Three Old Men (2017)
  • Wild Hokkaido (2017–)
  • Brother and Sister (2018)
  • Idaten (2019)


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c "Charlotte Kate Fox - Biography". IMDb. Retrieved February 28, 2024.
  3. ^ "Theatre alumna to star in Japanese drama". Northern Illinois University. March 10, 2014. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  4. ^ "Charlotte Kate Fox (Vanda)". Archived from the original on April 2, 2019. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  5. ^ "SFUAD 2015 COMMENCEMENT". Archived from the original on May 20, 2015. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  6. ^ "Charlotte Kate Fox (Vanda)". Archived from the original on April 2, 2019. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  7. ^ McCurry, Justin (September 20, 2014). "Japan's popular morning drama takes an international twist". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  8. ^ McCurry, Justin (March 14, 2014). "American actor Charlotte Kate Fox wins role as 'mother of Japanese whisky'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  9. ^ "NHK朝ドラに初の外国人ヒロイン!28歳無名の米女優を抜てき". March 5, 2014. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  10. ^ "Cast announcement press conference of NHK morning drama "Massan"". Dorama World. March 4, 2014. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  11. ^ Warnock, Eleanor (November 5, 2014). "From American Waitress to Japan TV Stardom". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  12. ^ "U.S. Actress Boosts Ratings of NHK Morning Drama". The Hawaii Herald. March 6, 2015. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  13. ^ "マッサンの忍耐に金メダル 女優、シャーロット・ケイト・フォックス". The Sankei Shimbun. December 28, 2015. Archived from the original on May 22, 2015. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  14. ^ "ワタシ ただいま冒険中!!~「マッサン」ヒロイン 秘密の舞台裏~". NHK. November 3, 2014. Archived from the original on May 21, 2015. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  15. ^ Maegawa, Hiroyuki (January 27, 2015). "NHK star: Acting is the best job in the world". The Asahi Shimbun. Archived from the original on May 20, 2015. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  16. ^ "マッサン人気の"シャロやん"「日本でお仕事がしたい!」最初はホームシックも日本びいきに". The Sankei Shimbun. December 25, 2014. Archived from the original on May 21, 2015. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  17. ^ "「マッサン」視聴率テコ入れ? NHK幹部「これから話が動きます!」 人気の理由、気になる1位は?". The Sankei Shimbun. December 14, 2014. Archived from the original on May 10, 2015. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  18. ^ "過去の視聴率データ NHK朝の連続テレビ小説". Video Research Ltd. Archived from the original on July 3, 2017. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  19. ^ "Charlotte Kate Fox goes from 'Massan' to 'Chicago'". Japan Today. February 21, 2015. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  20. ^ "Chicago tickets, Broadway, New York, Musical Tickets". Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  21. ^ "Charlotte Kate Fox: Credits, Bio, News & More | Broadway World". Retrieved February 28, 2024.
  22. ^ "Chicago the Musical".
  23. ^ "Massan's Charlotte Kate Fox Will Rake in the Chips After Rumer Willis in Chicago on Broadway". Retrieved February 28, 2024.
  24. ^ "あの歌に出会いたい~シャーロットの沖縄歌探しの旅~". NHK Online. Archived from the original on October 7, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  25. ^ "『マッサン』女優シャーロット、初冠番組で沖縄へ歌探しの旅". Oricon. June 17, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  26. ^ "Universal Music Japan Charlotte Kate Fox". Universal Music Japan. March 27, 2015. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  27. ^ "Universal Music Japan Charlotte Kate Fox". Universal Music Japan. July 22, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  28. ^ "シャーロット・ケイト・フォックス 自身初のアルバム発売&全国ツアー開催決定". Billboard Japan. July 22, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  29. ^ "高台家の人々". (in Japanese). Retrieved March 11, 2016.

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