516Biography: Colin Fox
- Nov 11, 2003COLIN FOX
Colin Fox was one of the few students to have entered the National Theatre
School of Canada holding an Equity card. He had earned it over a period of
two summers slogging it as an apprentice in summer stock: building sets,
doing prop runs, operating sound and lights and then walking on as detective
no. 2 in "Craig's Wife" starring Talullah Bankhead.
In his last year at NTS (after paying his way as replacement announcer at
CBS Montreal and as CJAD's classical music host) Colin won the title role in
CBC-TV production of "Macbeth," went on to co-star in Edward Albee's "Tiny
Alice" at the Crest Theatre in Toronto, and enthusiastically accepting an
"as cast" contract for the Stratford Shakespearian Festival - found himself
with a season of slogging (again) through "Henry v - Henry VI" as filthy and
disreputable soldier - speaking a grand total of 12 words.
Finally on the brink of recognition Colin was offered one of the "Three
Musketeers' (Aramis) which was to be televised , then included in
Stratford's 1969 season. With the cameras rolling he flew out of second
story window onto an awaiting trampoline, his boar snared in the webbing,
and the resulting injury sidelined him for six months.
While recovering he was offered the starring role in the gothic horror
series "Strange Paradise" - which to this day retains a cult following that
still remembers the "good" jean Paul Desmond doing battle with his alter
ego: the "evil" Jacques Elois des Mondes.
Now mostly in the world of television and film Colin continued to alternate
between those good and bad guys - only not at the same time.
A few examples:
Ellen Burstyn's suitor in the feature "Silence of the North": back on the
boards on Broadway as Rosemary Harris' neighbour who turns out to be a sup"
pursued by Scotland Yard's Patrick McGoohan in "Pack of Lies": the dotty
father in "Anteroom" opposite Elizabeth Wilson at Playwrights Horizon: a
compassionate bishop in "The Equalizer": and a reluctant priest on "Law &
Over a four year period Colin co-starred in the TV series "psi Factor -
Stories of the Paranormal" as psychiatrist Dr. Anton Hendricks, a role that
has earned him a following from Texas to Stuttgart to Auckland.
At the same time he was appearing in another television series - "The
Adventures of Shirley Holmes". He'd leave the set of "psi Factor" fling his
New York bow tie collection in a suitcase and head off to Winnipeg to play
every high school's nemesis; The history teacher, Mr. Howie: a comical foil
whose mishaps would bring Shirley and her sidekick Bo to the rescue! He even
had to be rescued from the amorous clutches of Shelly Duvall who guest
starred as a smitten librarian who case spells on poor Arthur Howie!
Colin loves the contrast between the two utterly different characters in the
two series. "I'm glad one was in Toronto and the other in Winnipeg - the
flight gave me time to make the adjustment!"
It wasn't until the end of "Shirley's" fourth season that Colin found out
the Mr. Howie was based on a real life character who had been the bane of
producer Kim Todd's high school existence!
Although he has often joked that he never seems to get sent to exotic
locations - the 90's broke is travelling dry spell:
Nice and the French Riviera to film "Star for Two" with Anthony Quinna nd
Lauren Bacall; To New Zealand for "The Sound and the Silence" Montana for
"Return on Lonesome Dove" and best of all: Rome for six months as one of the
survivors of a tunnel explosion and flood (rescued by Sylvester Stallone) in
"Daylight". Claire Bloom played his wife. It was a grueling six month shoot
at Rome's Cinecitta studios but it meant being in one of the great cities on
earth. Colin's wife Carol joined him and their daughter Sarah who was
enrolled in school in Italy. E ver since Colin & Carol have made plans to go
back. Recently they toured Sicily for a month
Colin and Carol decided that somewhere in Italy they would find a second
home. Presently they live in an 1860's stone farmhouse outside of Toronto
while Sarah is attending McGill university in Montreal.
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