Matthew Fox was once one of the biggest stars on television, leading the ensemble cast of ABC’s massively popular series Lost, which premiered in 2004. After the series concluded in 2010, Fox’s career started to wane as well, and the once in-demand actor all but faded away.
Where is Matthew Fox now and why haven’t we seen him lately?
MATTHEW FOX’S PARTY
Party of Five came into Fox’s life after only two years in front of the camera. First, he appeared on two episodes of the series Wings and was cast on the CBS series, Freshman Dorm, which only lasted five episodes. His final projects prior to Party of Five were his feature film debut, the horror-comedy My Boyfriend’s Back, followed by the CBS Schoolbreak Special If I Die Before I Wake.
On Party of Five, Matthew Fox took on the role of eldest sibling, Charlie Salinger, who becomes his family’s legal guardian when their parents are killed in a car accident. Charlie was a reluctant guardian at first, an immature womanizer who was not ready for the responsibility of overseeing his siblings, including a one-year-old brother. As Charlie is not ready for his full-time parental duties, the family hires a nanny to watch over the baby. Charlie begins an on-and-off-again relationship with the nanny, played by Paula Devicq, that runs through the entire series, ending with the two getting married and having a child of their own.
The series put the young Matthew Fox in the spotlight with his rugged good looks and leading man qualities. The show was a big hit for the actor and during his time on it, he concentrated mainly on the series, only stepping outside the show for a parody of Party of Five on the sketch series MADtv, and then for the TV movie, Behind the Mask.
With Party of Five over, Fox was looking for his next big role. He gained a lot of traction as Charlie Salinger, but it still took him time to find his next project, the 2002 UPN series, Haunted. Fox played ex-cop-turned-private-eye Frank Taylor, who has a near-death experience that gives him the ability to communicate with the ghosts of murdered people. Most of these restless ghosts need Taylor’s help in solving their murders, but others only try to harm and confuse Taylor. While Haunted received decent reviews, it never caught on with viewers, and only seven of its eleven episodes airing before the series was cancelled.
Matthew Fox’s next series after Haunted would be the biggest part of his career, Dr. Jack Shepard on ABC’s massively popular hit Lost. When Lost first aired in 2004, the series about a plane crashing on a mysterious island hooked viewers and made the show the most talked-about program on television.
Initially, Matthew Fox was going to play Dr. Shepard’s rival on the island, Sawyer, a role that would eventually go to Josh Holloway. In the early iterations of Lost, Dr. Shepard was also only supposed to appear in the pilot episode. The first episode was originally going to show Dr. Shepard’s ability to take charge and lead the survivors of the plane crash, only to be killed near the end of the episode, making Kate (Evangeline Lilly) the star of the series. But ABC didn’t want to lose the character, so the episode was rewritten to keep Shepard alive and Fox was hired to play the doctor.
Lost gave ABC one of their most popular series ever, gave audiences new mysteries to try and solve every week, and plenty of critical acclaim. In its first season, Lost won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series, and the show would win the Golden Globe for Best Television Drama Series in 2006. For his work as Dr. Jack Shepard, Matthew Fox would earn Golden Globe and an Emmy nominations, and win a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama.
While Lost ended with a divisive finale, the show is still one of ABC’s biggest successes and remains a point of contention for fans and detractors over a decade later.
MATTHEW FOX’S PERSONAL PROBLEMS
In 2011, shortly after Lost ended its six-year run, Matthew Fox was at a Cleveland bar while shooting his latest movie, Alex Cross. Fox allegedly tried to get on a party bus, which the female driver refused to let him on. Fox reportedly began to punch the driver in her breast, groin, arms, and legs. Charges were brought up against Fox, but eventually, the case was dropped because, according to the woman’s lawyer, she “intentionally failed and refused to provide full and timely cooperation and information.” The lawyer also claims the woman failed to honor their agreement to pay his out-of-pocket expenses.
Even though the charges were dropped, Matthew Fox was not done with the incident. Lost co-star Dominic Monaghan went to Twitter with comments about Fox after being asked by a fan if he’d urge Fox to get on Twitter. Monaghan’s response, “He beats women. No thanks.” He was then pressed by another fan who said, “What about all those good times you had together?” Monaghan then responded with, “How do you know we ever did? You don’t know either of us. He beats women. Not isolated incidents. Often.”
After a DUI the following year, Matthew Fox finally responded to both the DUI and the alleged bus driver beating. He did admit to the DUI, saying to Men’s Journal, “I will bet you any amount of money that I will never get behind the wheel of a car after even one drink.” He then went on to address, briefly, Dominic Monaghan and the incident. “The rest of it—the Cleveland situation, the [Dominic] Monaghan situation— was a pile of bullshit, and I’m not gonna waste too much breath on that.”
2015 was the last time we got to see Matthew Fox on either screen, big or small. During his time on Lost, he starred in such movies as Smokin’ Aces, We Are Marshall, Vantage Point, and Speed Racer. While they were all good efforts, they never moved his career as a leading feature film star.
After Lost, the pickings were slim for the actor. He was in Emperor, the aforementioned Alex Cross, and the Brad Pitt-led World War Z, in which Fox’s role was major, but then poor screenings forced the filmmakers into rewrites and reshoots, leaving most of Fox’s performance on the cutting room floor. He followed that up with Extinction and then the critically-acclaimed horror western Bone Tomahawk. Since 2015, Fox has been absent from the entertainment industry.
Fox now spends time with his wife and two kids in Bend, Oregon. He lives a quiet life, loving his family and flying airplanes. He told Men’s Journal, “To be up there by yourself, and it’s all up to you whether it’s gonna be an amazing flight or it’s not gonna go as beautiful[ly]. I feel like I’m hyper-prepared when I fly.”
But as for why he’s not in front of the camera? “For me, whether or not I work again is always gonna depend upon the quality of the opportunities that I get. And if I don’t get quality opportunities, you probably won’t see much of me. I’ll probably be doing something else.” Five years is a long time to be looking for that quality opportunity.