Before the lads mag, there was only The Sun's Page 3 and the lady with the most arresting profile capitalised on her recognition to become one of the first models turned singers turned celebrities.
In September 2008, a popular UK tabloid voted glamour model and pop starlet Sam Fox the best ever Page Three pin-up. That is some longevity for the girl who burst onto Page Three of The Sun 25 years earlier. The headline for Fox’s topless debut read: ”Sam, 16, Quits A-Levels for Ooh-Levels” and a career was born. At the height of her fame, Fox’s vital statistics were 36D-23-31.
A men’s magazine argued it was Fox’s D-cups that were responsible for the resurgence of more buxom boobs on the covers of British magazines throughout the 1980s.
Samantha Karen Fox was born in London’s East End, the eldest daughter of the late Patrick John Fox and Carole Ann Wilken. She attended the Anna Scher Theatre from the age of five and says she has always had an interest in theatre. It was her mother that encouraged Fox’s foray into glamour modeling, sending pictures of her daughter in lingerie to a competition in The Sunday People. She was noticed by The Sun newspaper in which her first topless shoot was published.
Fox was managed by her father until 1991 but she went on to fire and successfully sue him for £363,000 after discovering he had been embezzling from her accounts. They never spoke again and he died in 2000. Fox quit the glamour model industry and went into the pop business, bursting onto the charts in 1986 with ‘Touch Me’ roaring into to the number three slot in Britain, and reaching number one in nine other countries. Her second single ‘Do Ya, Do Ya’, followed and the album ‘Touch Me’ went silver within a fortnight of being released. Her third single, ‘Hold on Tight’ was another chart stormer and it became clear, much to the disgust of the serious music press, that Fox was no flash in the pan.
As interest in her music waned in her native Britain, Fox remained successful in Europe where she is still well-loved, possibly due to tireless touring in unusual places such as Bosnia, Russia and Siberia. Her lyrics are often remixed into club tracks. Pop stardom was not her sole earner either. The curvy cockney with the tight, torn jeans and love for leather garments also started a designer label, bought a race horse and became a restaurateur.
In 2003 she came out and declared her love for her manager Myra Stratton. She told reporters that it was time to stop denying rumours about her sexuality: “It's 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.”
The same year, she took part in ‘The Club’, a six-week reality series, pitting Fox against other celebrities who were given control of their own flash London bar. In 2008, Fox and her partner Myra took part in Celebrity Wife Swap, exchanging with Freddie Starr and his wife Donna. In November 2009, she took part in 'I'm a Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here' and survived until the 16th day when she lost the public vote. When she emerged from the jungle, she revealed her intention to have a civil partnership with Stratton.
Her stint in the jungle also helped rejuvenate her musical career as her first three albums were reissued in the US with bonus tracks and she released a 'Greatest Hits' album in December 2009. Fox teamed up with trance superstar 4 Strings to release a new single called 'Forever' in 2010, which was followed by a duet with Italian singer Sabrina Salerno - a cover of Blondie's 'Call Me'. On 10 December 2011, Fox released another single called 'The Secret', which was released with Zante Dilemma. The 25th anniversary of the release of 'Touch Me' was commemorated with an official 'Touch Me' special edition t-shirt, which was unveiled on 26 January 2012.
Fox is now thought to be writing her autobiography and recording a seventh album.