It’s rare that a family business isn’t a subject around the dinner table; and rarer still that parents don’t have career advice to offer their progeny. But despite coming from a long-line of performers (more on that in a minute!), Fox swears up, down and sideways that her family rarely weighs in on her career. But lest you might think this is a strange issue of propriety or filial embarrassment, just take a look at Fox’s resume. Looking at her long career — and well known roles — it’s quite clear that this reticence is just another sign of her abundant talent as an actress.

In case you couldn’t tell, we’re fans. Introduced to Fox through Silent Witness (broadcasting Monday’s on GBH 44), we were pretty excited when PBS rolled out the 1997 BBC adaptation of Rebecca — Fox’s second on screen role, and her first in a starring role. She pulls of this translation of the second Mrs. DeWinter with aplomb; impressive work when she’s sharing the screen with Charles Dance as Maxim, and a top-of-her-game Diana Rigg as Mrs. Danvers. The miniseries itself adds some fascinating interpretations to the tale, but it was Fox’s work as the childlike heroine that made us want to learn more.

Fox comes from a family of performers.
Her mother, Joanna David, has appeared in Rosemary & Thyme, Death in Paradise, Foyle’s War and Miss Marple; her father was the ‘Jackal’ in The Day of Jackal, and appeared in A Bridge Too Far and Gandhi. Her brother Freddie, can be caught in the upcoming season of The Crown as Mark Thatcher. Her uncle James Fox was in Performance and King Rat, though you may recognize him as Lord Aysgarth from Downton Abbey. Her cousin’s Jack and Laurence are also actors — Sir Edward Denham from Sanditon, and Lord Palmerston from Victoria, respectively. The patriarch of this family? Robin Fox, a well known theatrical agent in the 60’s, having represented Julie Christie, Paul Scofield, Marianne Faithfull and the Dowager Countess herself, Maggie Smith.

She’s not the first in her family to star in Rebecca.
Her mother, Joanna David, has also played the second Mrs. DeWinter, in the 1979 BBC Miniseries of Rebecca, which appeared on our own Mystery! series. David’s version starred Jeremy Brett as Maxim — though you may know him better as Sherlock Holmes in the long running ITV series in the 80s and 90s — and the iconic Anna Massey as Mrs. Danvers.

Fox’s first role was in a genre favorite.
In her first foray onto the screen, Fox joined her mother in Andrew Davies’ 1995 Pride and Prejudice, with Fox playing Georgiana Darcy to her mother’s Mrs. Gardiner. She beat our 70 other young actresses — and played the piano for the role! In a slight coincidence, her first role for the big screen would be in Polanski’s The Pianist, as a cellist, seven years later.

That musical talent is very real.
The musical performances in both films were all Fox. She studied both cello and piano as a youth, and actually considered a career as a cellist for a time — though she does admit she was a bit rusty when it came time to break out her chops for the cameras!

Rebecca wasn’t the last time she appeared alongside Charles Dance.
Dance and Fox reunited in the film Fallen Angel, an ITV mini-series that explores the life of serial killer Rosie Byfield. As opposed to their collaboration in Rebecca, here Dance and Fox play… father and daughter. Though they also both appeared in ITV’s Henry VIII, though they didn’t share any scenes.

Four people stand in a medical examiners lab. From left to right we see a man in a brown leather coat; an angular, blonde woman, staring into the distance; an older man in a business suit; and a petite woman in a wheelchair.

Like any good actor, she’s superstitious.
Fox admits to be superstitious, and not just when it comes to theatre — though she has to touch every piece of wood on her way to the stage (and spin around three times if she misses one), she also embraces the classic British superstition of greeting a single magpie, and saying “white rabbits” if you cross someone on the stairs… and the list goes on!

She’s classically educated.
As a youth, Fox attended Oxford for English, as a member of St. Catherine’s College. She share’s this accomplishment with actress Alice Eve, director Benjamin Ross, and Christian Cole, the first African barrister to practice in the English court and the first black graduate of Oxford.

Her education was an attempt to get out of the family business.
Like any teenager worth their salt, Fox was bound and determined that she would not go into acting – in fact, she read at Oxford with the goal of becoming a critic! But it wasn’t long after graduation that she realized she couldn’t ignore a genetic pre-disposition for the theatre.

We’re not sure if we want her on our camping trip…
In 2015, Fox appeared as a contestant on Bear Grylls: Mission Survive, where celebrity contestants were taken into the field to display their survival instincts. Though Emilia beat out half of the contestants, she was ultimately eliminated for a poor attitude.

But we do want her solving our untimely murder!
Though Fox tends to favor films and mini-series, she has taken on the role of Dr. Alexander in Silent Witness for an impressive sixteen years. Alexander is a South African forensic anthropologist and pathologist, who started out as a supporting character and has slowly evolved into the shows leading lady.

Watch Rebecca on GBH Passport today!