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Wally Cox

Wally Cox

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Also Known As: Wallace Maynard Cox Died: February 15, 1973
Born: December 6, 1924 Cause of Death: heart attack
Birth Place: Detroit, Michigan, USA Profession: actor, comedian, writer, puppeteer apprentice, dance instructor, author, playwright, silversmith, jewelry store manager, shoe-weaver

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Wally Cox once confessed "I used to consider myself insignificant and anonymous-looking". With his slight build, receding hairline, bespectacled visage and reedy voice, Cox confounds most notions of what a leading man should be. However that's exactly what he was on American TV for a significant chunk of the 1950s. Cox first gained fame as Robinson Peepers, a mild-mannered high school science teacher in the once beloved sitcom "Mr. Peepers" (NBC, 1952-55).

Wally Cox once confessed "I used to consider myself insignificant and anonymous-looking". With his slight build, receding hairline, bespectacled visage and reedy voice, Cox confounds most notions of what a leading man should be. However that's exactly what he was on American TV for a significant chunk of the 1950s. Cox first gained fame as Robinson Peepers, a mild-mannered high school science teacher in the once beloved sitcom "Mr. Peepers" (NBC, 1952-55).

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Night Strangler, The (1973) Titus Berry
2.
 Magic Carpet (1972) Harold Kane
3.
 The Barefoot Executive (1971) Mertons
4.
 The Boatniks (1970) Jason Bennett
5.
6.
 Up Your Teddy Bear (1970) Clyde
9.
 The Bedford Incident (1965) Seaman Merlin Queffle
10.
 Morituri (1965) Dr. Ambach
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Parents divorced when Cox was a youth
:
Moved from Detroit to NYC with mother and sister Eleanor
1942:
Enrolled in the City College of New York to study botany
:
Left school when mother striken by partial paralysis; became the family's primary breadwinner
:
Worked variously as a shoe-weaver, silversmith and puppeteer apprentice
:
Drafted into the army, sent for training to Camp Walters, Texas
:
Hospitalized from heat strokes; received honorable discharge after four months
1946:
Went into business for himself as a silversmith; made tie clasps, cuff links and shirt studs for NYC haberdashers; netted around $40 per week
:
Performed an informal comic monologue at a party; did an impression of a soldier he had once met
:
Began performing monologues regularly at parties
:
Influenced to act by his childhood friend and Greenwich Village roommate Marlon Brando; made other friends in the theater
:
Became affiliated with the American Creative Theater Group where the director advised him to shape his monologues into a nightclub act
1948:
In December, at a theatrical party, met Judy Freed who set up an audition with Max Gordon, owner of the Village Vanguard, a popular jazz cafe in NYC's Greenwich Village
1948:
Made nightclub performing debut at the Village Vanguard the same night he auditioned; initial one evening engagement extended into months
:
Took his act up to the Blue Angel in midtown Manhattan
:
Caught the attention of theatrical producer Dwight Deere Wiman who cast him in his new musical revue
1949:
Early TV appearance as a "student" on "School House", a comedy variety series on the DuMont network set in a schoolhouse
1950:
Broadway debut, "Dance Me A Song"
1950:
Hailed for his performance, received more than 20 offers for work in film, TV, theater and clubs by the time "Dance Me A Song" closed
1950:
Began undergoing psychoanalysis (date approximate)
1950:
Performed at the Plaza Hotel's Persian Room and on numerous TV and radio shows including those headlined by Perry Como, Ed Sullivan, Garry Moore and Arthur Godfrey (dates approximate)
1951:
Hosted his own NYC radio show on WNEW in October
1951:
Starred as a mild-mannered trouble-prone policeman in the "Philco Television Playhouse" production of David Swift's "The Copper" on NBC (date approximate); impressed the show's producer, Fred Coe, who began developing a pilot for a comedy vehicle
:
Starred as Robinson Peepers, a meek high school science teacher in the hit NBC sitcom, "Mr. Peepers"; performed live in front of a NYC studio audience; began as a summer replacement series
1953:
Began acting in summer theater productions playing the part of Irwin in "Three Men on a Horse"
1956:
Returned to nightclub work; heckled off the stage in Las Vegas; bowed out of the engagement after a few days
:
Starred as a mild-mannered proofreader with remarkable abilities in the short-lived (four months) sitcom, "The Adventures of Hiram Holiday"
1958:
Signed a seven-year, $50,000-a-year contract to develop special projects for NBC
1959:
Wrote a play, "Moonbirds", which closed after three performances
1962:
Feature debut, "State Fair"
1962:
Co-starred in the unfinished Marilyn Monroe comedy "Something's Got to Give" directed by George Cukor with Dean Martin and Cyd Charisse
1964:
Guest starred as a programmer of an amorous computer in "From Agnes--With Love", an episode of "The Twilight Zone"
:
Provided the voices of the humble "Shoeshine Boy" and his heroic alter-ego "Underdog" on the popular Saturday morning cartoon from producer Jay Ward
:
Became regular panelist (in the upper left "square") on the tic-tac-toe game show "Hollywood Squares"
1967:
Portrayed a scoutmaster in the TV-movie pilot for "Ironside"
:
Appeared in TV commercials for Jockey Shorts
1971:
Final film appearance, "The Barefoot Executive", a Disney satire of TV programming
1973:
Final TV-movie, "The Night Strangler"; played a librarian who assists reporter-cum-supernatural investigator Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin)
1973:
Died of a heart attack in Bel Air; Brando flew in from Tahiti to handle the cremation
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

New York University: New York , New York -
City College of New York: New York , New York - 1942

Notes

Cox was nominated for Emmy awards for Best Comedian in 1952 and Best Male Star of a Regular Series in 1953.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Marilyn Gennaro. Fourth wife; married on June 7, 1954.

Family close complete family listing

father:
George Wallace Cox. Advertising copywriter. Divorced when Cox was a youngster.
mother:
Eleanor Frances Atkinson. Writer. Mystery writer; divorced when Cox was a youngster.
sister:
Eleanor Cox.

Bibliography close complete biography

"My Life as a Small Boy"
"Ralph Makes Good" Simon & Schuster
"The Tenth Life of Osiris Oaks"

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