Emmerdale Liam Fox stars life – famous ex, tragic loss and dads alcohol battle

Actor Liam Fox has been lighting up our screen on ITV’s Emmerdale since 2011 and is best known to fans for playing Dan Spencer.

He’s thrilled fans with a slew of family dramas over the years after he was led to believe he had a son and daughter but learnt this wasn't the case. Despite the twists on the ITV soap, the actor's family life is much more simple.

The 52-year-old Mancunian was once loved-up with another famous soap star and has tackled his own challenges away from the cameras.

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Liam previously opened up about his dad's 40-year battle with alcoholism. He wanted to raise awareness of living with an alcoholic parent by sharing his own experience in hopes it will help other families faced with a similar problem.

Let’s take a deeper look into the actors life off-screen…

Soap Star Ex

Fans may not know that Liam was first married to Hollyoaks star Nicole Barber-Lane with the couple tying the knot back in 1999.

The pair share son Ben together and Liam is stepfather to Nicole’s daughter Gemma, however, not much else is known as Liam’s children with the actor appearing to remain private about his life away from the cameras.

Liam and Nicole sadly went their separate ways after 16 years when they got divorced in 2015.

At the time, the couple released a statement, which read: "It is with much sadness that we confirm the end of our marriage, though our family unit remains strong.

"We'll always love and respect each other and are united by our children and family remaining at the centre of our lives."

A close friend to the couple told the Sunday People at the time: “They will continue to live together for the foreseeable future as they enjoy the precious last few years of their children being in the family home.”

Despite the actors no longer an item, they still socialised and enjoyed time as a family.

The Emmerdale actor later found love again in 2017 and went on to marry Joanna Hudson in 2020.

Dad’s Alcohol Battle

Actor Liam decided to share his devastating experience with his father who suffered from severe alcoholism, in the hope it will help thousands of other families facing a similar situation.

His death was caused by his two-bottles-a-day vodka habit. Speaking about his dad, Liam told The Mirror back in 2021: “Dad struggled with alcoholism for nearly 40 years of my life and it was absolutely horrendous for us to watch him get so regularly drunk knowing that one day he would die from the demon drink.

“Even though we repeatedly warned him if he didn’t stop drinking he would die, he couldn’t help himself. If by me talking about what happened can help others, then that has to be a positive thing. Nobody should have to suffer in silence.”

Tragic Loss

What Liam also revealed when opening up on his dad’s battle with alcoholism is that his 40-year struggle eventually killed his dad and caused decades of family pain.

Liam’s dad, Billy, sadly died on February 21 at the age of 73 from pneumonia.

“We would all tell him he was going to die if he didn’t stop. He promised he would but then it would start again.”

One of the saddest parts of his dad’s battle with booze, Liam says, was the inability to get the help he desperately needed.

The actor says: “Dad was so lonely, but would never leave his house.

“He cried all the time but the problem is though that when we managed to get social workers to visit him, he wasn’t drinking and so he was deemed to have capacity.

“It was impossible to get him the help he really needed to deal with the route of his depression rather than the alcohol, which was a result of his inner pain.”

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Emmerdale airs weeknights from 7:30pm on ITV.


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