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Also Known As: Brian Denis Cox Died:
Born: June 1, 1946 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: United Kingdom Profession: actor, director, acting teacher

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A leading man on the London stage since the 1960s, Brian Cox was most often cast in character and supporting roles when his career led him to Hollywood in the 1990s. The accomplished Shakespearean actor was well-known for his world tour as "King Lear" with the National Theater, and brought that same commanding delivery and strong presence to countless roles as movie bad guys, starting with his chilling portrayal of Hannibal Leckter in Michael Mann's cult thriller, "Manhunter" (1986). That film proved to be a false start in the American movie business, but Cox returned a decade later, and this time, his solid frame and mastery of accents made him a busy supporting player in blockbusters like "Rob Roy" (1995) and "The Bourne Identity" (2002), as well as acclaimed indie fare from Spike Jonze, Wes Anderson, and Woody Allen. Cox's occasional leading roles did not go unnoticed, with the actor earning and Emmy for portraying infamous Nazi Hermann Goering in the TNT movie "Nuremberg" (TNT, 2000). Cox's key roles in comedies like "Super Troopers" (2001) further demonstrated his versatility across genres and nations, while his countrymen revered him as one of the finest actors ever to emerge from Scotland. ...

A leading man on the London stage since the 1960s, Brian Cox was most often cast in character and supporting roles when his career led him to Hollywood in the 1990s. The accomplished Shakespearean actor was well-known for his world tour as "King Lear" with the National Theater, and brought that same commanding delivery and strong presence to countless roles as movie bad guys, starting with his chilling portrayal of Hannibal Leckter in Michael Mann's cult thriller, "Manhunter" (1986). That film proved to be a false start in the American movie business, but Cox returned a decade later, and this time, his solid frame and mastery of accents made him a busy supporting player in blockbusters like "Rob Roy" (1995) and "The Bourne Identity" (2002), as well as acclaimed indie fare from Spike Jonze, Wes Anderson, and Woody Allen. Cox's occasional leading roles did not go unnoticed, with the actor earning and Emmy for portraying infamous Nazi Hermann Goering in the TNT movie "Nuremberg" (TNT, 2000). Cox's key roles in comedies like "Super Troopers" (2001) further demonstrated his versatility across genres and nations, while his countrymen revered him as one of the finest actors ever to emerge from Scotland.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  El Muerto (2007)

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Pixels (2015)
2.
 Mindscape (2014)
4.
 Red 2 (2013)
5.
 Blood (2013)
6.
 Her (2013)
7.
8.
 Campaign, The (2012)
9.
 Edwin Boyd (2012)
10.
 Exit Humanity (2011)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1960:
Joined the Dundee Repertory Theatre at the age of fourteen; debuted in "Dover Road"
1966:
Spent a season with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre; made London stage debut in "As You Like It"
1969:
First performance with the Royal Court Theatre, "In Celebration"
1971:
Film debut, as Trotsky in "Nicholas and Alexandra"
1972:
Appeared in "Hedda Gabler" at the Royal Court
1973:
Stage directing debut, "The Man with a Flower in His Mouth" (Manchester)
1975:
Reprised stage role of Steven in the film version of "In Celebration"
1976:
Began acting with the National Theatre in London
1980:
Made TV debut in "Therese Raquin" opposite Kate Nelligan (PBS)
1982:
Had title role in the National Theatre production of "Danton' Death"
1983:
Cast in a supporting role opposite Laurence Olivier in the TV adaptation of "King Lear" (Channel 4)
1984:
Co-starred opposite Glenda Jackson on the London stage in Eugene O'Neill's "Strange Interlude"
1984:
Garnered acclaim for starring role in the stage play "Rat in the Skull"
1985:
Made Broadway debut reprising his role in "Strange Interlude"; also starred Jackson
1985:
Reprised leading role in the off-Broadway staging of "Rat in the Skull" at the Public Theater
1986:
Originated the role of Dr. Hannibal Lecktor in "Manhunter"
1988:
Played the title role in the Royal Shakespeare production of "Titus Andronicus"
1989:
Originated role of Frankie in the London premiere of Terrence McNally's "Frankie and Johnnie in the Clair-de-Lune"
1991:
Played a closeted homosexual in the British TV adaptation of "The Lost Language of Cranes" (BBC)
1991:
Portrayed a wealthy man who has had duplicate copies of his wife made in "The Cloning of Joanna May"
1993:
Appeared on episodes of the British drama "Sharpe" (ITV)
1995:
Acted opposite Mel Gibson in "Braveheart"
1997:
Performed the one-person play "St. Nicholas"; written by Conor McPherson expressly for Cox
1997:
Appeared as an IRA leader in "The Boxer"
1998:
Co-starred in the HBO original "Poodle Springs"
1998:
Succeeded Alan Alda as Marc in the award-winning "Art" on Broadway
1998:
Played the school's headmaster in Wes Anderson's "Rushmore"; co-penned by Anderson and Owen Wilson
1999:
Cast as an unhappily married man who takes in a serial killer (Owen Wilson) in "The Minus Man"
1999:
Cast as the crusty owner of a baseball team in "For Love of the Game"
2000:
Co-starred in the A&E TV-movie "Longitude"
2000:
Portrayed Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering in the TNT miniseries "Nuremberg"
2001:
Received critical praise for his role as a pedophile in "L.I.E."
2002:
Cast in a supporting role as CIA Deputy Director opposite Matt Damon in "The Bourne Identity"
2002:
Appeared in Gore Verbinski's "The Ring"
2002:
Portrayed real-life screenwriting seminar instructor Robert McKee in Kaufman's pseudo-autobiographical film "Adaptation"
2003:
Played the villainous anti-mutant crusader Stryker in "X2"
2004:
Cast as Agamemnon in director Wolfgang Petersen's Greek epic "Troy"
2004:
Reprised role of Ward Abbott for "The Bourne Supremacy"
2005:
Co-starred in Woody Allen's "Match Point"
2006:
Joined the cast of HBO's "Deadwood" as theater owner Jack Langrishe
2006:
Played Dr. Finch, the oddly hypnotic psychotherapist in the feature adaptation of Augusten Burroughs' "Running With Scissors"
2007:
Played Melvin Belli, a celebrity defense lawyer in David Fincher's thriller "Zodiac"
2008:
Played an institutionalized convict in Rupert Wyatt's "The Escapist"
2009:
Lent his voice to the animated film "Battle for Terra"
2010:
Cast as Laura Linney's father on the Showtime series "The Big C"
2011:
Joined an all star cast for the revival of Broadway's "That Championship Season"
2011:
Acted in the critically acclaimed "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"
2012:
Cast as Menenius in the feature adaptation of Shakespeare's "Coriolanus," directed by Ralph Fiennes
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art: -

Notes

"It's taken Brian a long time to find himself. His work has always had a strong moral quality and a Celtic streak. And he has another quality: the courage to explore his emotions. That's rare for a British actor." --Lindsay Anderson.

In 1997, Brian Cox was the voice of Labour Party political broadcasts in the United Kingdom and was scheduled to perform a similar function in 1999 during the Scottish parliamentary elections but a joke he made to journalists "expressing a wish that Scottish devolution might lead to English independence" cost him the job. --From the London Times, January 2, 2000.

"One of the reasons I work in this country [the USA] now is because [although] I get on with a lot of people in England, I've also pissed a lot of people off over there." --Brian Cox quoted in Time Out New York, September 17-24, 1998.

"A wonderful old friend of mine, Fulton McKay, who played the old tramp in the Bill Forsythe film "Local Hero", used to tell me, 'Brian, why are you worried about being a star? Just be a good actor. Say your prayers and be a good actor.'

"It's the best advice anyone ever gave me." --Cox to Patrick Pachecho, quoted in Los Angeles Times Calendar, August 1, 1999.

"I'm curious about evil people. I get quite emotional about them and quite fond of them. I never judge them. There's a deficiency which makes them lose any sense of right or wrong. Hannibal Lecter is frightening because he has no boundaries. We haven't found his fear and we haven't found his love." --Brian Cox on one of his better known roles, quoted in the London Times, January 2, 2000.

"It sounds vain, but I dread ever being offered a knighthood. I love gongs, I love Oscars, but I would have to turn a knighthood down because it sanctions something I don't believe in. It sanctions keeping people in their place." --Cox quoted in the London Times, January 2, 2000.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Caroline Burt. Actor. Married c. 1967; divorced in 1986; had stillborn twins in addition to her surviving children.
companion:
Irina Brook. Daughter of director Peter Brook.
companion:
Siri Neal. Actor.
wife:
Nicole Ansari. Actor. Born c. 1966.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Charles McArdle Campbell Cox. Weaver. Died when Cox was nine years old (c. 1955).
mother:
Mary Ann Guillerline Cox. Spinner. Roman Catholic; suffered several mental breakdown when Cox was a child.
son:
Alan Cox. Actor. Born on August 6, 1970; mother, Caroline Burt; played Watson in "Young Sherlock Holmes".
daughter:
Margaret Cox. Born c. 1977; mother, Caroline Burt.
son:
Orson Cox. Born c. 2002; mother, Nicole Ansari.
son:
Torin Kamran Charles. Born October 26, 2004; mother, Nicole Ansari.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"The Lear Diaries"
"Salem to Moscow: An Actor's Odyssey" Heinemann

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