Biography

Vivacious actress Vivica A. Fox has been attracting attention for performances that mix equal parts sass and class since making her 1989 screen debut in Born on the Fourth of July. A native of Indianapolis, where she was born July 30, 1964, Fox got her start on television with a stint on the daytime soap Days of Our Lives. After making her debut as a hooker in Oliver Stone's aforementioned Born on the Fourth of July, the actress continued to do much of her work on television while appearing in the occasional film. She first attracted notice as Will Smith's girlfriend in the blockbuster Independence Day (1996); her dynamic turn earned her -- together with Smith -- the MTV Award for Best Kiss that year. Fox subsequently appeared in a diverse array of films, ranging from the acclaimed black ensemble romantic drama Soul Food (1997), which cast her as one of three sisters (the other two were played by Vanessa L. Williams and Nia Long), to Batman & Robin (1997), in which she played femme fatale Ms. B. Haven, to Why Do Fools Fall in Love (1998), which featured her in a critically lauded portrayal of one of the three wives of singer Frankie Lymon. Fox's profile declined somewhat in the new millenium, although an appearance in the battle-of-the-sexes comedy Two Can Play That Game caught the attention of Quentin Tarantino, who was casting his long-gestating fourth feature, Kill Bill. As the first victim of hired killer Uma Thurman, Fox brought a little blaxploitation-era sass to the role, making for a memorable, suburban-kitchen battle scene. In addition to her flourishing film work, Fox continued to work on the small screen, most notably as Dr. Lillian Price on Steven Bochco's predominately African American hospital drama City of Angels. 2005's one-season-only reality show The Starlet offered Fox the opportunity to pass on her actorly wisdom -- alongside head judge Faye Dunaway -- to a group of young hopefuls. The following year, she could be seen hoofing it up as a contestant on the astronomically popular ABC competition Dancing With the Stars. Though she worked steadily throughout the 2000s and continues to be active in the film industry, Fox has yet so far been unable to achieve the success she enjoyed in earlier years. ~ Rebecca Flint Marx, Rovi