Remembering Johnny Fox| A fan favorite at the Renaissance Festival loses battle to cancer


His script and his tricks were essentially the same every time—and crowds would come just to say the jokes in unison with him.

“The water from India!” they would all squeal, as he poured a golden cup with a seemingly endless supply of water.

Perhaps you and your family saw Johnny Fox at the Maryland Renaissance Festival over the years.

A beloved performer and sword swallower, Johnny passed away Sunday at the age of 64 after a hard-fought battle against liver cancer.

Johnny was the festival’s longest running performer. He was there for 37 years, and wowed audiences by the millions.

“He was one of those performers you just felt was an integral part of your being, and you could tell you’re a big part of his being,” said Jules Smith, president of the festival. “He truly enjoyed the people he performed for.”

Earlier this year, Johnny announced he was diagnosed with liver cancer.

Over Skype, he told FOX45 he would make still make it back to the stage.

He delivered on his promise. In the fall, Johnny made it back to the stage. It was named after him the opening weekend of the season- The Royal Fox Stage.

“When Johnny became ill we thought it was very important that we doing something to honor him and keep his memory alive,” said Smith. “He was very honored, very pleased. He told me it was one of the biggest moments to realize that he had that kind of impact on people.”

A type of magic that cannot be replaced, Smith says there are no plans to hire another sword swallower for the next festival.

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