About Laurence Fox
Laurence Paul Fox is an English actor, singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is best known for playing the lead role of DS James Hathaway, in the British TV drama series Lewis from 2006 to 2015. His debut album, Holding Patterns, was released in February 2016.
Laurence Fox was born in 1978 in Yorkshire, the third of the five children of James Fox and Mary Elizabeth Piper. His father James was the son of Robin Fox, a theatrical agent, who married Angela Muriel Darita Worthington, daughter of the playwright Frederick Lonsdale.
Fox's siblings are Tom , Robin , Lydia , and Jack ; Lydia and Jack are actors. Lydia Fox is married to actor Richard Ayoade. His uncles are the actor Edward Fox and the theatrical and film producer Robert Fox. The actors Emilia and Freddie Fox are his first cousins, being the children of Edward Fox.
At the age of 13 he was enrolled at Harrow School at which point he was, as he later recalled, "shy around women, sensitive and a bit naïve". Although he made friends and liked the drama teacher, he hated the school's strict regimen 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 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." With 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.
He later told an interviewer that despite doing well in his A-level examinations he was unable to obtain a place at any university, because of a report about him from Harrow. After working as a gardener for two years, and a stint as an office worker which he loathed, he discovered that he preferred acting and enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art . 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, as an "Old Harrovian", he was treated "like a nonce". He made himself more unpopular by being outspoken and taking on stage and movie roles in his second and third years despite this practice being banned by the academy. One of these was his first break into film – the 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, "the 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 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 , an SS officer in The Last Drop , and as British soldiers in the 2002 films Deathwatch and Ultimate Force, and in Colditz . 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".
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