Adept at playing smart, strong women, this former teen model segued to acting with guest spots in after-school specials and evening dramas. A comely, gap-toothed brunette whose good looks can’t obscure her intelligence or hard-nosed attitude, Fox became a small-screen star with a trio of plum prime-time parts. In the mid-’90s she had a recurring role as a blunt doctor on ER who turned out to be a lesbian and — like Fox — a vegetarian. In a sly nod to her character’s sexual orientation, the actress had a cameo on the famous 1997 “coming out” episode of Ellen. In 2000 Fox appeared on a different NBC drama as a Secret Service agent on The West Wing, but later that year she jumped networks when she signed on to CBS’ CSI as a dedicated investigator. Although the show turned her into a bold-faced name, behind-the-scenes bickering threatened to cut her run short: In 2004, she and costar George Eads were briefly fired during a contract dispute. Three years later during another salary standoff, Fox refused to show up to shoot the series’ seventh season finale when she learned that her alter ego would be killed off. The episode was reshot with a more ambiguous ending.


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