David Fox: March 24, 1941 – November 13, 2021

A graphic of Tony Nappo edited to appear as multiple people sitting in a circle as a spoof of Alcoholics Anonymous. At the top and bottom of the image is text that reads "Nappoholics Anonymous"

Nappoholics Anonymous is a weekly column featuring twelve random thoughts by actor Tony Nappo. Some are funny, some are poignant, some bother him, and some make him weep from sadness while others make him weep for joy. Here are his thoughts: unfiltered, uncensored, and only occasionally unsafe for work.

I was texting with Naomi Snieckus after the news broke that David Fox had passed. We were sharing thoughts about Foxy, and how deep and far-reaching his impact had been in the community. I guess that was, partly, because he always liked to work in the trenches, on new scripts and with younger generations of artists, as well as with the well-established. No acting job was too small for David, and no acting challenge was too large. There was never a trace of elitism in him, despite his endless accomplishments. He had a work ethic, well into his seventies, with which a twenty-year-old would have trouble keeping pace. He was far more interested in finding out who others were and what they were about than he ever was in talking about himself.

During this back and forth with Naomi, it occurred to me that, although it’s the work that grounds us and binds us together — the work is our connective tissue — it’s the passion and energy and conversation of the people we work with that remains with us, long after the work has been done and, to a large degree, forgotten. In that sense, we truly are a family. And no family could ever ask for a more ideal patriarch than David. He was accessible, interested, warm, loyal, kind, patient (except when he wasn’t), and supportive (seriously, he always insisted on paying for his own ticket) without ever compromising who he was — a proud Canadian artist of unquestionable integrity. 

A person like David Fox — one who can be held up as an example of the best that we all can be, over the span of many decades, as both artists and as people, comes along so rarely, that I proposed to my editor, Aisling Murphy, that I curate an edition of Nappoholics Anonymous solely consisting of tributes to and photos of this theatre giant. A thumbnail sketch of the legacy he left behind.

I won’t ever do something like this again with this column, but I wanted to do it just this once. For David Fox. Because I fucking love him. And I will fucking miss him.


Photo credit to Brooke Johnson.
Photo credit to Brooke Johnson.

10 Responses to “David Fox: March 24, 1941 – November 13, 2021”

  1. Even though we’d worked together and crossed paths many times over the years. I was always surprised that he would remember me. I’m not sure why. Maybe because I idolized him and didn’t feel worthy of taking up any memory space in his brain. But he had lots of space in that brain. And lots of space in that heart you could feel it when he spoke, when he moved. About a year ago I was in a bus and I saw him on the street as I passed by I wondered if that would be the last time I saw David, turns out it was.I will never forget you David thank you for everything

  2. I grow sadder with each memory shared. I wish I had known him better, but I’m so grateful for the times I saw him onstage. Thanks for giving your stage to him today.

    • A Dear Man.
      Tower of an Actor.
      Heart of generosity, empathy and humour.
      Proud to have known him.
      Proud to have worked with him.
      Proud to have Laughed with him.
      David. My Dear Friend.
      God Speed.

  3. Tony thanks for getting all these tributes together for us all, its a great gift for all of us who knew him. Foxy was truly magnificent in his humble way. He will never be forgotten. The lights have dimmed with his passing.

  4. Thank you, Tony. Everything, everyone has written is so true. The last time I saw him we were both in the audience at the Tarragon extraspace and he gave me that Foxy big smile, bright eyed… What a loss for us. So lovely to read your piece. X

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Tony is Italian, he’s from Scarborough, he’s an actor, he’s a father, he’s a really good house painter, and he doesn’t believe that most things matter, ultimately, at all.