Matthew Fox (born July 14, 1966) is an actor and former model. His first major role was playing the older brother and patriarch Charlie Salinger on Party of Five in the 1990s, co-starring with both Scott Wolf and Neve Campbell. He gained much greater fame for his current starring role as Jack Shephard on the hit ABC drama series Lost.
Fox was born in Abington, Pennsylvania, and raised on his family's horse ranch in Crowheart, Wyoming. His father, Francis G. Fox, was a geologist and rancher, and his mother, Loretta B. Eagono, was a teacher.
He has an older brother, Francis, Jr., and a younger brother, Bayard. Following his graduation from Wind River High School in nearby Pavillion, Wyoming, Fox undertook a prep year at the private Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts, from which he gained admission to Columbia University. At Columbia, he played wide receiver, participating in the game that led to the end of Columbia's notorious 44-game losing streak. He was also a member of the Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta. After graduating in 1989, he began acting with the Atlantic Theater Company. He also attended the School for Film and Television in New York City.
Fox sought a career on Wall Street before turning a job offer down. He studied economics at Columbia and upon his graduation applied for a job to sell stocks at Prudential-Bache. "I didn't have a suit, so I had to borrow one from a friend. He was 5-10, and I'm 6-2, so the thing didn't fit. And I borrowed his penny loafers," he said. He described the staff as "all these mid-20s, Type A, go-getting wannabe Gordon Gekkos.
There was just so much testosterone flying around, in all the wrong directions ... I'll never forget the moment as long as I live: We're saying goodbye, and they were like, 'Well, y'know, you're gonna come here and kick ass, and it's all gonna be great!' and then one of 'em says, 'But he's gonna have to do something about those shoes!' They all had exactly the same pair of Oxford shoes on. In that moment, I [said], 'There's no way I can do this.'"
At the age of 25, Fox made his debut on an episode of Wings. That same year, he also starred on a short-lived dramatic series, Freshman Dorm. Still not being a familiar face on the small screen, he continued receiving supporting roles, including the CBS Schoolbreak Special series, If I Die Before I Wake before he made his big screen debut in My Boyfriend's Back (1993).
In 1994, Fox was cast in a co-starring role as the eldest of the five siblings who lost both parents in a car accident on the critically acclaimed 1990s teen drama, Party of Five, as Charlie Salinger, FOX's attempt at repeating the success of such successful serials such as: Beverly Hills 90210 and its spin-off, Melrose Place. In that very first season, Party connected to audiences and teenagers to form the television media.
The network needed to deliver the compassion and care to Fox's character, Salinger, a man who was ripped apart with his family and felt the need to take care of his other siblings. During his tenure on Party, both he and co-star Wolf set many hearts aflutter, appearing on many teen magazines and posters. In 1996, People Magazine named Fox as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World.
After Fox's Party came to an end after six long seasons, he starred in another TV series Haunted, in 2002, but the show didn't match the popularity of Party of Five, eight years after.
Since September 2004, Fox has been playing the role of the troubled and dedicated surgeon, Dr. Jack Shephard, on Lost. Reportedly, it was his idea to seek a role in the series as he was about to travel to Hawaii with several other cast members. He initially auditioned for the role of James "Sawyer" Ford. However, co-creator J.J. Abrams was so pleased with his reading of the Dr. Shephard character that Fox was cast in the lead role.
Reportedly, he was permitted to read the entire top-secret pilot script. As the star of the series, he is also the highest-paid actor on the show. Fox was nominated for a Golden Globe, won the 2005 Satellite Award, and shared the 2006 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, for his role in Lost. He will play Jack Shepherd for three more seasons of Lost when the show will end in 2010.
On December 2, 2006, he hosted Saturday Night Live with musical guests Tenacious D. In the monologue for that episode, he talked about how he was never chosen to host SNL during his days on Party of Five and named off other popular TV show stars who never hosted SNL, including Seinfeld's Michael Richards (played by Bill Hader). The following week, he appeared in a digital short that was cut from his episode.
In 2006, Fox co-starred with Matthew McConaughey in the sports drama, We Are Marshall. He is also set to star in the 2008 thriller, Vantage Point and also played a bit part in the action film Smokin' Aces. During the summer movie season of 2008, Fox will be appearing as Racer X, the rival of the title character in Speed Racer.
Fox also stars in adverts for cosmetics and beauty company L'Oreal.
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