Edward Fox was born Edward Charles Morice Fox in London, in 1937. His was a family of actors going back several generations. His father was a theatrical agent and his mother an actress. His brothers are the actor James Fox (1939- ) and the theater/film producer Robert Fox (1953- ).
He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and also served as a lieutenant in the British Army.
He made his West End debut in 1964 at the age of 27 and appeared in various productions there through 1991. He continued his stage career in summer stock, primarily at the Theatre Royal in Bath, Somerset, England, through 2000.
Fox first appeared on television for the BBC in 1962 and appeared in an uncredited role in his first feature film that same year. Although the majority of his screen work has been for television, Fox has appeared in more than 45 feature films.
He was nominated for a British Academy Film Award three times and won twice in the Supporting Actor category for The Go-Between (1971) and A Bridge Too Far (1977). He was also nominated in the same category for his role in Gandhi (1982).
Fox married the actress Tracy Reed (1942-2012) in 1958. The couple produced a daughter, but soon divorced in 1961. He married his long-time girlfriend, the actress Joanna David (1947- ), in 2004, and their two children are the actress Emilia Fox (1974- ) and the actor Freddie Fox (1989- ).