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Robin Fox MC (15 July 1913 – 20 January 1971) was an English actor, theatrical agent, and chairman of the English Stage Company, best remembered as the founder of a family of actors. His sons are James, Edward, and Robert Fox. His grandchildren include Emilia, Laurence, Jack, Freddie, and Lydia Fox.

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Early lifeEdit

Fox was born in the parish of St George's, Hanover Square, Westminster, the son of Arthur William Fox and Hilda Louise Fox (formerly the actress Hilda Alcock, real name Hilda Louise Hanbury), a member of Herbert Beerbohm Tree's theatrical company), and was the grandson of Samson Fox (1838–1903), a British engineer and philanthropist, principal founder of the Royal College of Music and inventor of the corrugated boiler flue. His mother and his aunt Lily Hanbury were first cousins of Julia Neilson, mother of Phyllis and Dennis Neilson-Terry. Julia Neilson was married to Fred Terry, brother of Dame Ellen Terry. Altogether seven of his cousins were actors.[1]

Life and careerEdit

During the Second World War, Fox became an officer cadet and in August 1940 was commissioned into the Royal Artillery.[2] In February 1945, he was awarded the Military Cross.[3] He rose to the rank of acting major.[4]

Becoming a theatrical agent, by the 1960s Fox was the senior partner of the Robin Fox Organization, with offices in Regent Street.[5] As well as representing many performers, including Julie Christie, Paul Scofield, Marianne Faithfull, and Maggie Smith,[6] he also acted on behalf of film-makers, of whom one was Joseph Losey.[7]

In 1962, Fox quarrelled bitterly with Tony Richardson, when he attempted to forbid his friend Richardson from giving his son Willie Fox a part in the film The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. Fox claimed Willie had no talent for acting and should not give up his job in a bank.[8]

In 1966, Robin Fox appeared in a cameo role in the film Modesty Blaise, as a man who rings a doorbell.[9]

In 1970, Fox and Oscar Lewenstein jointly succeeded Neville Blond as chairman of the English Stage Company, but Fox died from cancer only six months later.[10]

At the time of his death Fox was living at Ockenden Cottage, Cuckfield, Sussex. He left an estate valued at £102,625.[11]

Private lifeEdit

Fox married Angela Muriel Darita Worthington, an actress and the natural daughter of the English playwright Frederick Lonsdale. She had been the subject of Noël Coward's song "Don't Put Your Daughter on the Stage, Mrs Worthington!" She wrote two books about her life and marriage, Slightly Foxed (1986) and Completely Foxed, and revealed that when she was newly married and first pregnant Fox told her "You do know that I have no intention of being faithful to you. I shall sleep with whoever I like".[12][13] They had three sons, James, Edward, and Robert Fox.[13]

Fox has been called "a notorious philanderer", and his conquests are reported to have included Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark (1906–1968), the widow of Prince George, Duke of Kent. He had a long affair with Rosalind Chatto, wife of the actor Tom Chatto, who was his secretary before she became an agent on her own account, and is uncertainly claimed to have been the father of her son Daniel Chatto.[13]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Emilia Fox" episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, first broadcast on BBC One on 7 September 2011
  2. ^ The London Gazette, issue 34936 (Supplement) dated 3 September 1940, p. 5332
  3. ^ The London Gazette, issue 36928 (Supplement) dated 8 February 1945, p. 796
  4. ^ Temporary Major Robin Fox, Royal Artillery at forces-war-records.co.uk. Retrieved 7 September 2015
  5. ^ Robert Morley, Robert Morley: a reluctant autobiography (1967), p. 214
  6. ^ Paul Buck, Performance: the Biography of a 60s Masterpiece (2013), pp. 129, 130
  7. ^ James Palmer, Michael Riley, The Films of Joseph Losey (1993), p. 42
  8. ^ James M. Welsh, John C. Tibbetts, The Cinema of Tony Richardson: Essays and Interviews (1999), p. 119: "It was Richardson who gave James Fox his first part as the public school runner who wins the race, despite the fact that his friend, agent Robin Fox, was bitterly against it: "We only had one quarrel, when he forbade me to offer his son 'Willie' James Fox a small role in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, saying that his son had no talent and that for him to quit his job in a bank would be to disrupt his life."
  9. ^ James Robert Parish, Michael R. Pitts, The Great Spy Pictures (1974), p. 308
  10. ^ Lindsay Anderson, ed. Paul Sutton, Diaries (2004), pp. 249, 505
  11. ^ Fox 1971 at probatesearch.service.gov.uk. Retrieved 6 September 2015
  12. ^ Angela Fox, Slightly Foxed – by my theatrical family (London: Collins, 1986) p. 17
  13. ^ a b c Alison Boshoff, The fabulously frisky Foxes in The Daily Mail dated 23 January 2015

External linksEdit