As the eldest daughter of the late Patrick John Fox and Carole Ann Wilken, Samantha Karen Fox came from a family of market traders in the East End of London. She has a sister, Vanessa, who is six years younger, and a half-sister, Frederica, from her father's second marriage.
She attended St Thomas More RC School, Haringey, and took a keen interest in the theatre from an early age. She first appeared on a theatre stage at the age of three, and was enrolled in the Anna Scher Theatre School from the age of 5. Her first television appearance came in 1976, at the age of 10, in a BBC play entitled No Way Out. Following on from this, she started at the Judi Dench Mountview Theatre School, near her home in Crouch End, at the age of 11.
Interested in music from an early age, she formed her first band, with Richard Smart on guitar and Bob Day on tambourine, at the age of 14. Her first record deal came a year later, with Lamborghini Records. However, both her theatre and music careers went on hold when her modelling career took off.
In early 1983, Carole Fox photographed her teenage daughter wearing lingerie and submitted several pictures to the The Sunday People newspaper's "Face and Shape of 1983" amateur modeling contest. Judged joint runner-up in the contest, Fox had her pictures published, and was soon after invited for a test shoot for The Sun newspaper's Page Three feature. Her parents gave their consent for their daughter to pose topless, and on Tuesday, 22 February 1983, Fox's first Page Three photograph was published under the headline "Sam, 16, Quits A-Levels for Ooh-Levels."
Fox's Cockney background, bubbly-blonde looks, winning smile, and 36D breasts made her an enormously popular Page Three model. After famously insuring her breasts for a quarter of a million pounds sterling, she won The Sun's Page Three Girl of the Year award for three consecutive years between 1984 and 1986. She also posed nude for several British soft-porn magazines, although very few full-frontal shots were ever published.
Fox retired from Page Three modelling in 1986, at the age of 20, by which time she had arguably become Britain's premiere sex symbol of the era. In 1995, aged 29, she made a one-off appearance in The Sun to promote Page Three's 25th anniversary week. After receiving an overwhelmingly positive reader response, she appeared in the slot every day during the anniversary week, with Friday's final topless picture given away as an A3-sized poster. In 1996, aged 30, she appeared in the October issue of Playboy magazine.
Fox's father Patrick, a former carpenter, managed her career until 1991, when Fox hired accountants to trace over ?1 million that she believed he had embezzled from her accounts. She then sued her father, who by then had divorced and remarried, and in May 1995 she was awarded a ?363,000 court settlement. Patrick Fox died in 2000, at which time he and Fox had not spoken for almost a decade.
Samantha Fox was, in a online vote held by the British Newspaper the Daily Star, voted by its readers, as 'The best page 3 pin up ever' in September 2008. As a result of the poll win, she appeared topless for the first time in 12 years in the Daily Star although on page 5, not page 3.
In the late-1980s, Fox began a successful singing career, producing three albums in three years (1986-1988), and working with notable music producers such as Stock Aitken Waterman and Full Force.
Touch Me (1986)
Samantha Fox released her debut single, "Touch Me (I Want Your Body)", when she was 19 years old in March 1986. The single made the Top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic (#3 in the UK; #4 in the US). It also topped the charts in many countries, including Canada, South Africa and Australia. Her debut live performance came at Peter Stringfellow's club Hippodrome.
Her second single "Do Ya Do Ya (Wanna Please Me)" also made #10 in the UK though fared less well in the US. The third release from the album, "Hold On Tight" managed to secure a top thirty placing in the UK singles chart (#26) while the final single, "I'm All You Need" just narrowly missed the UK Top 40 (#41).
Samantha Fox (1987)
Within a year, Fox had released her 2nd album in 1987 for Jive Records titled Samantha Fox. The first single released from the album, "Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now", enabled her to achieve her third (and final) top ten hit in the UK (#8), though it only managed to peak at #80 on the US Billboard charts. The track was produced by the legendary production team Stock/Aitken/Waterman. The second single release, "I Surrender (To the Spirit of the Night)", failed to match the success of its predecessor in the UK and peaked at #25 in the UK. The next two releases, "I Promise You (Get Ready)" and "True Devotion," both failed altogether to make the UK Top 40 singles chart. "True Devotion" was #1 in Canada.
As a result of the disappointments in previous singles released from the album, the fifth and final single, "Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)," turned the fortunes of the album around and managed to secure a top ten placing on the US Billboard charts (#3), becoming her biggest hit to date in the US and scoring Fox another Top 40 hit on the UK Singles cart (#31). The track was a different sound for Fox, being produced by the US hip-hop producers Full Force. These would continue to work with Samantha on subsequent albums and achieve similar success with her stateside, whereas her changed sound did not fare as well for her with European listeners, who preferred the Euro-pop sound of her earlier music.
I Wanna Have Some Fun (1988)
The following year, Fox released her 3rd album in 1988 for Jive Records, titled I Wanna Have Some Fun. The album was produced by various producers covering the Euro-pop sound. Two tracks "Next To Me" and the title track reunited her for Full Force, where another reunion with Stock Aitken Waterman saw her record a cover of Dusty Springfield's "I Only Wanna Be With You", and the SAW original "You Started Something". A 3rd SAW production entitled "Too Late To Say Goodbye" was recorded, however did not make the final track list, and was eventually given to SAW stable mate Jason Donovan, appearing on his debut album "Ten Good Reasons". Production on the remaining album tracks was handled by a selection of producers from the UK and Europe. The first single released from the album, "Love House," was an experimental Pop-Dance effort which featured remixes by Kevin Saunderson of Innercity fame. However, the comeback single only managed to peak at #32 on the UK Singles chart while it was not even released in the US.
The second single released in the UK, "I Only Wanna Be With You," managed to secure her her biggest hit in over a year, peaking in the Top Twenty at #16. The first single release in the US fared even better. The title selection, "I Wanna Have Some Fun," produced by Full-Force, managed to peak in the US Top Ten at #8. (Though released as the third single in the UK, it only managed a #63 placing.) The American release, as the follow-up, of "I Only Wanna Be With You" peaked inside the US Billboard Top 40 at #31. No further singles were released from the album.
Just One Night (1991)
After a 3-year break, Fox released her fourth and final album for Jive Records in 1991, titled Just One Night. The album mirrored her previous work on 1988's I Wanna Have Some Fun by presenting a mix of old school hip-hop style tracks featuring Full Force, along with a collection of pop & rock tracks.
Sessions for "Just One Night" were also started with Stock Aitken Waterman in 1990/91, reuniting Samantha and the trio for a third time. At least 3 tracks were recorded "Second Chance", "Forever True" and "That's What Love Can Do". However, the tracks were abandoned and the final album track listing featured no SAW productions.
The first single release from the album in the US was "Hurt Me Hurt Me (But The Pants Stay On)," while "Another Woman (Too Many People)" was released across Europe. Neither single fared well on the charts. (Few American listeners understood that the title of the first selection was British club vernacular for "Pump up the bass, DJ.") The second and final release from the album was the title selection, "Just One Night," which became a hit in Canada.
The decision to aim for a more American sound in favour of the Euro flavoured SAW sound was perhaps a mistake, as the unused "That's What Love Can Do" became a US Top 20 and international hit for US girl group Boy Krazy.
In 1992, Jive released Samantha's first official compilation, Greatest Hits, which featured three new tracks.
In 1995, Fox attempted to revive her singing career again by participating in A Song for Europe, the competition to select the UK's entry for the annual Eurovision Song Contest. She performed "Go for the Heart", as lead singer of the group Sox, but failed to reach Eurovision after finishing 4th in the public vote. "Go for the Heart" was released in Europe and became a chart hit in the Netherlands. In 1997, she released a new album 21st Century Fox. The album featured Eurodance and Hi-NRG music. The album was released in the US a year later with the lead single "Let Me Be Free". 21st Century Fox became her first indie release. She also co-wrote and produced many of its tracks. Other singles from the album are "Deeper" and "The Reason is You". In 1998 Fox teamed up with DJ Milano who produced the club hit "Santa Maria". The track charted in the UK and reached #1 in Austria as well as top 40 positions in other European countries.
In 2004, Fox teamed up with Mats S?derlund (alias G?nther) in order to do a remake of "Touch Me (I Want Your Body)". This version reached #1 on the Swedish Singles Chart and charted in Greece, Finland and Norway.
In November 2005, Fox released her latest album, Angel with an Attitude, in Canada. For the album, she chose to work together with the award-winning producer Joe Barrucco.
Fox toured Australia throughout late August and early September 2007, as part of The Countdown Spectacular 2. The selections she performed included "Do Ya Do Ya (Wanna Please Me)" and "Touch Me (I Want Your Body)".
On 24 August 2008, Fox performed in Poland in concert of stars of the 1980s, together with Kim Wilde, Sabrina, Sandra, Modern Talking, Limahl and Shakin' Stevens. The concert was a part of Sopot Festival 2008 and was scheduled to be presented live on Polish channel TVN.
Samantha took the stage at the Colis?e Pepsi in Quebec City on 11 April 2009 as part of a 1980s-themed concert along with Debbie Gibson, and Rick Astley.
TOMORROW by MARC MYSTERIO
On July 31, 2009, Samantha announced a new collaboration with Canadian House Musician Marc Mysterio on her website, entitled "Tomorrow" by Marc Mysterio feat. Samantha Fox., which debuted on radio worldwide on August 7, 2009 on NRJ. Radio 538, and more.
The song was released Tuesday, September 15th on World Class Records & Amerada Music as a new dance single available exclusively through Beatport.
"This week, I started to get the butterflies in my stomach whenever I think about 'Tomorrow' -- the same feeling I had when Touch Me was on the cusp of breaking out in the 80s," Fox said in a statement.
"We are an underground music store, but we also work with artists that have a crossover appeal," said Dave Heugel, the European label manager at Beatport, a popular digital retailer for dance music. "Marc Mysterio's 'Tomorrow' is a great song with plenty of mass appeal, and fits well within our shop. Additionally, the vocals from Samantha Fox are great."
A music video for the song is also being shot and is expected to be released in October 2009.
Fox's pictures gained her such fandom in India that she was invited to star in a Bollywood film Rock Dancer. This was written and directed by V. Menon, starring Shammi Kapoor, Kamal Sadanah, Ronit Roy, Sharon Prabhakar, Javed Jaffri, Johnny Lever etc. It also featured guest appearances from Govinda, and was produced by Subbir Mukherjee.
Fox also featured in It?s Been Real, written and directed by Steve Varnom and starring John Altman, and The Match, written and directed by Michael Davis and starring Pierce Brosnan, Ian Holm, Tom Sizemore, Neil Morrissey, David Hayman and Ilar Blair.
On From Under the Cork Tree, Fall Out Boy have a track called "A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More Touch Me" which references the movie Sixteen Candles and Samantha Fox's album Touch Me. (The title also references the posthumous dance hit by Elvis Presley, "A Little Less Conversation.")
Fox turned down the opportunity to join the cast of EastEnders in 2008, claiming she was not a fan of the show.
In 1986 Fox was featured in a strip poker game (Samantha Fox Strip Poker) for Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, MSX, BBC Micro, and Amstrad CPC.
In 1989, Fox co-presented the BRIT Awards with Mick Fleetwood, which became notorious for turning into a shambles; Fox has asserted in interviews since that the autocue did not work properly that night, leading to utter chaos during the show's live TV broadcast. She spent a year in New York presenting pop promo videos for MTV, and she made other attempts at TV presenting, including an interview with Rolf Harris, which was ill-fated even before it started as Fox referred to her interviewee as "Ralph" on several occasions, although he got his own back by resting his beard against her neck and tickling her with it. She appeared on the sitcom Charles In Charge in 1990 where she played the role of "Samantha Steele," a fictional rock star whose agent pushes her to romance Charles (Scott Baio) in order to get the paparazzi to print it in the tabloids. In the story line, it was done for career publicity reasons since people seem to enjoy some controversy. She also appeared in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for Spring Break, where she sang her various then current hits to thousands of college students.
Fox featured in the ITV programme An Audience With... Ken Dodd, during which she asked him how he liked to use his famous chuckle-duster, a multicoloured feather duster. Dodd responded by nonchalantly moving into the audience and letting the item stroke Fox's collar, before violently plunging down it her cleavage, making her scream and giggle.
Fox's career quieted down as she grew older, and she was not as commercially successful in her singing as she had once been. However, this has not stopped her working. In 2003, she appeared in ("reality television") show The Club, competing against Richard Blackwood and Dean Gaffney by trying to run the most successful bar in "The Club," which was full of celebrity guests such as Katie "Jordan" Price.
She also featured in a promotional advert for digital channel UKG2, In which she sat in a perspex box while a vat of live eels was poured in. It took a large number of takes as on several occasions, the eels made their way down Fox's top, with her protesting that they were tickling her.
In August 2004, Fox was featured in a music video with Swedish music artist G?nther in the song "Touch Me," a remix of her own earlier version. The album, Pleasureman, on which this version of "Touch Me" was featured, was released in the US on Rhino Records in 2006. The single spent several weeks at #1 on the Swedish Chart.
In 2008, Fox and her partner Myra took part in Celebrity Wife Swap, exchanging with Freddie Starr and his wife Donna.
Fox has been signed to appear as a talent judge on the American music show called Putting On The Hits, which will be an updated version of the popular 1980s televised weekly program.
Fox was twice linked to Australian con man Peter Foster. They dated in 1986-87 and then, after a seven year separation, they reunited in 1994 for a year. They were at one time reportedly engaged to be married. Fox described Foster as "the love of my life". She has also been in relationships with Paul Stanley, the singer and rhythm guitarist for the band KISS; and also with Spanish bullfighter Rafi Camino.
In 1994, it was reported that Fox had become a born-again Christian. That year, she played at the Christian arts festival Greenbelt. When queried about how she could reconcile topless modelling with her Christian beliefs, she said:
"Easily. God gave me my body. I know it has made many people happy. There is no conflict there. I don't and have never promoted pornography. I'm not a born-again Christian because I have always been one. I am doing what God wants me to do. My prayer each night is: 'Let me go my way and make people happy. Let me do the right thing.'"
She has become distant from Peter Foster and said:
I'm old enough now to know that I'd never be taken in again by the likes of Peter Foster. But then, I was 22 and impressionable. My parents had split and here was a man who was clever, manipulative and domineering. I came close to marrying him because I was so vulnerable.
Some time after the Bai Lin Tea controversy he suggested that Samantha and he make a film about their lives, but she sent a refusal via her lawyer.
Rumours regarding Fox's sexual orientation began to surface in 1999 when she judged a lesbian beauty pageant, and many people said they believed that the woman she lived with at the time, Australian Cris Bonacci, formerly guitarist with Girlschool, was more than just her manager.
In February 2003, she made a statement about her personal life:
"But I can't keep saying, 'Maybe,' or denying it. It is time to let people know where my heart is. People keep trying to say I'm a lesbian. I don't know what I am. All I know is that I'm in love with Myra . I love her completely and want to spend the rest of my life with her."
Fox participated in the television show Celebrity Wife Swap with her partner.
Part of her reluctance to come out was due to fears of how some of her fans might react, as she had already had to deal with stalkers.
In August 2009, Samantha Fox announced her plans to have a civil partnership with her long term girlfriend and manager, Myra Stratton.
Samantha Fox donated her favourite bra to a charity auction which allowed fans to buy a piece of celebrity clothing. Sense-National Deafblind and Rubella Association's Strip It Off three-day auction which began on 4 March 2008 saw members of the public bidding for stars' garments in order to raise money for the deafblind charity.