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Brian Cox Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (42) | Personal Quotes (31)

Overview (3)

Born in Dundee, Scotland, UK
Birth NameBrian Denis Cox
Height 5' 7½" (1.71 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Brian Cox is an Emmy Award-winning Scottish actor. He was born on June 1, 1946 in Dundee, Scotland, to Mary Ann Guillerline Cox, maiden surname McCann, a spinner, and Charles McArdle Campbell Cox, a shopkeeper and butcher. His father was of Irish ancestry and his mother was of Irish and Scottish descent.

Cox first came to attention in the early 1970s with performances in numerous television films. His first big break was as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in Manhunter (1986). The film was not overly successful at the box office, although Cox's career prospects and popularity continued to develop. Through the 1990s, he appeared in nearly 20 films and television series, as well as making numerous television guest appearances. More recently, Cox has had roles in some major films, including The Corruptor (1999), The Ring (2002) and X2 (2003). He was awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2003 Queen's New Year's Honours List for his services to drama.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: David Mullen

Spouse (2)

Nicole Ansari-Cox (2002 - present) (2 children)
Caroline Burt (1968 - 1986) (divorced) (2 children)

Trade Mark (3)

Often plays characters associated with the government or the military (or both).
Dark blue eyes
Deep smooth voice

Trivia (42)

His father was of Irish ancestry, while his mother was of Irish and Scottish ancestry.
Has a son, Alan Cox, who starred in Young Sherlock Holmes (1985).
Is the first actor to portray Dr. Hannibal Lecter on the screen.
He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2003 Queen's New Year's Honours List for his services to drama.
Has played Hannibal Lecter in the mystery thriller Manhunter (1986). In 2002, he co-starred with Edward Norton and Philip Seymour Hoffman in the film 25th Hour (2002). In 2002, Norton and Hoffman also starred in Red Dragon (2002), which was a remake of Manhunter (1986).
He was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1985 (1984 season) for Best Actor in a New Play for "Rat in the Skull".
He was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1989 (1988 season) for Best Actor in a Revival for "Titus Andronicus".
Has two children: Alan Cox (a professional actor) and Margaret Cox, from his 18-year marriage to Caroline Burt (they divorced in 1986). A second son was born January 31, 2002 from his wife Nicole Ansari-Cox.
He was awarded the 1987 London Critics Circle Theatre Award (Drama Theatre Award) for Best Actor for his performances in "The Taming of the Shrew", "Titus Andronicus" and "Fashion".
He was awarded the 1984 London Critics Circle Theatre Award (Drama Theatre Award) for Best Actor for his performances in "Rat in the Skull" and "Strange Interlude".
He does not watch or view his own work.
Rarely plays characters who are sympathetic or likable, from his egotistical take on Robert McKee in Adaptation. (2002) to the robust evil in his portrayal of Agamemnon in Troy (2004). However, he has gone against type and played several likable characters, such as the gruff yet honorable Uncle Argyle in Braveheart (1995) and the lovable, paternal Police Chief John O'Hagan in Super Troopers (2001).
Has performed in several movies playing a government official in which another actor has amnesia but later discovers they are secret government assassins: The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) where the amnesia victim is actress Geena Davis, The Bourne Identity (2002) with Matt Damon having the amnesia, and also X2 (2003) where the victim is played by Hugh Jackman.
Has no fewer than three roles in common with Anthony Hopkins. They have both played Titus Andronicus, and both of them played King Lear while the other was simultaneously playing Hannibal Lecter.
Alumnus of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
The scene in X2 (2003) where Magneto escapes from prison is modeled after Hannibal Lecter's escape in The Silence of the Lambs (1991) - the sequel to Cox's film Manhunter (1986), in which he played Lecter.
Member of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in Stratford Upon Avon, England, where he is most recognized for his performance of "King Lear".
After graduating from LAMDA, he spent several seasons with the Royal National Theatre in London, England.
Has appeared with Joan Allen in Manhunter (1986). Each of them later went on to work with the other's successor. Cox's successor as Lecter, Anthony Hopkins, appeared in Nixon (1995) with Allen. Cox worked with Allen's successor, Emily Watson, in The Boxer (1997).
Backed out of his contract after filming the second of the BBC/Celtic Sharpe series of films after complaining of poor working conditions in the Ukraine as well as becoming repeatedly sick because of them. He was replaced by Michael Byrne, who was featured in the next three Sharpe films.
Although it is indicated in X2 (2003) that his character (William Stryker) is at least 20 years older than Bruce Davison's character (Senator Robert Kelly), in real life, he is only 27 days older.
Has worked with two Eomers. In the Sharpe films (Sharpe's Eagle (1993) and Sharpe's Rifles (1993)), with Sean Bean, he appears with Anthony Hyde, who played the role in the BBC radio broadcast. In The Bourne Supremacy (2004), he appears with Karl Urban, who played the role in Peter Jackson's films.
Has appeared in two films about legendary Scottish heroes: Braveheart (1995) and Rob Roy (1995).
His second son, Torin Kamran Charles Cox, was born October 2004.
Has appeared in Manhunter (1986) with Joan Allen, they went on to work together 18 years later on the movie The Bourne Supremacy (2004).
Based his portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter on Scottish serial killer Peter Manuel.
His father, Charles McArdle Campbell Cox, died when he was age 9.
Is the youngest of five children.
[2009] Owns two Toyota Prius cars - one for use at his American residence and one for his British home.
Was elected Rector of Dundee University (Scotland), the city of his birth, and took up the position in spring 2010.
Was engaged to actress/theatre director Irina Brook.
Manhunter (1986) was remade as Red Dragon (2002), the original title of the novel on which it is based. Cox has appeared in films with several actors from the remake. He appeared with Edward Norton and Philip Seymour Hoffman in 25th Hour (2002), with Emily Watson in The Boxer (1997) and The Water Horse (2007), Mary-Louise Parker and Anthony Hopkins in RED (2010) and RED 2 (2013), and Ralph Fiennes in Coriolanus (2011). Frankie Faison appeared in both films.
Among the actors thought suitable for the role of Roger Derebridge in the science fiction horror film Lifeforce (1985). The role eventually went to Nicholas Ball.
Has won two prestigious Laurence Olivier Best Actor Awards for performances on London's West End stage - "Rat in the Skull" and Shakespeare's "Titus Andronicus".
Although Cox has been vocal about his support for Scottish independence, he did not qualify to have a vote in the 2014 referendum due to his status as a resident of the United States.
Has replaced Tommy Lee Jones in two consecutive 1996 releases: Chain Reaction (1996) and The Glimmer Man (1996).
Lives in New York City.
He was a lifelong supporter of the Labor party but has since switched to supporting the Scottish National Party.
As of 2017, has appeared in three films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971), Braveheart (1995) and Her (2013). Of those, Braveheart (1995) is a winner in the category.
He played William Wallace in Churchill's People: The Wallace (1975) and his father Argyle Wallace in Braveheart (1995).
In 1995, he appeared in two films revolving historical Scottish figures who fought with British forces: Rob Roy (1995) and Braveheart (1995).
Was not only the first of three actors to play Hannibal Lecter, he was also the first of them to appear in a film based on a Marvel comic book, each of which would make reference to Lecter. Magneto's escape in X2 (2003) was modeled after Lecter's escape in The Silence of the Lambs (1991). Anthony Hopkins plays the father of Loki in Thor (2011) and its sequels; Loki himself played a scene opposite Black Widow in which he is trapped behind glass, not unlike Lecter and Clarice Starling. They are also discussing Bruce Banner, a character previously played by Edward Norton. Mads Mikkelsen wears a face mask resembling Lecter's in Doctor Strange (2016).

Personal Quotes (31)

I was living in London and I thought, "There's nothing here for me anymore". I don't want to become this actor who's going to be doing this occasional good work in the theater and then ever diminishing bad television. I thought I'd rather do bad movies than bad television because you get more money for it.
In a sense I feel very much a part of the cinema now in a way where when I come back to the theater now I feel like a visitor. The cinema is really what I enjoy. I want to do more independent movies.
I'm an actor who does really interesting work in independent movies. I want to keep doing that because I don't want the burden of an opening weekend sitting on my shoulders.
I'm 100% Celt. In fact, I'm directly related to the progenitor of the high kings of Ireland, Niall of the Nine Hostages.
As a boy, I was never interested in theater because I came from a working-class Scottish home. I thought, "I want to do movies." Then it was finding the means to do it.
[on Spike Lee] Ah, there's a director. Astonishing, Spike Lee. A feisty guy, but a guy who's, I think, incredibly misunderstood. I think people review his politics or his color as opposed to his filmmaking sometimes. Because he's a wonderful, wonderful filmmaker and a lover of the art. He stands up for things, but he's also a brilliant storyteller who really understands the whole.
Unlike New Zealand, which has nothing especially predatory, Australia is full of spiders and crocodiles and all kinds of animals that will eat you and sting you.
Feudal societies don't create great cinema; we have great theatre. The egalitarian societies create great cinema. The Americans, the French. Because equality is sort of what the cinema deals with. It deals with stories which don't fall into 'Everybody in their place and who's who,' and all that. But the theatre's full of that.
The trouble with New York today is that it's lost its balance. I love the new, greener New York, but it takes all kinds of worlds to make a World.
The hardest thing to do in movies is be a day-part player. You have to go in, make your mark, and get out. There's a lot of leading actors who are not good for a lot of a movie, and then suddenly they have good moments, and they're like stepping-stones across a particularly feisty stream. They build careers out of that.
I always think I look like the Elephant Man - I can't get used to my own image.
Even the Australians don't know how beautiful their own country is. Particularly where we were shooting 'The Straits.' Most of my stuff was done on an aboriginal settlement on the south shore, opposite Cairns, which I believe was the site where the last person was eaten in Australia.
The heritage of a British actor revolves around the challenges of playing the classic roles to meet certain levels of success as an actor. In America, the heritage of an actor is based on cinema mainly.
The fact is that Hollywood, from as early as the sixties to the present time, has ghettoized cinema into the big industry, a marketing industry. In doing this, the audiences have lost touch with the aspects of film which were to be informative and educational and even spiritual.
Actors in general have become very spoiled in the roles they choose these days. When I first started in this profession - about a hundred years ago in the last century - it was all about taking risks, it was about doing the job and honing the craft.
There are characters that have made me uncomfortable. I did a film called 'Rob Roy,' and I played Killearn, who was this sort of greasy fallen-angel character who was voyeuristic and sleazy and really unpleasant. It was a great role, but I didn't especially enjoy living with this awful man for the length of time it took to make the movie.
People always make that mistake when they talk about theatre - the notion of the 'theatrical' meaning something separate from life. If it doesn't relate to life, it doesn't relate to anything.
I used to do a lot of fencing in the theater and a lot of horse riding in the early days, so I'm used to it in a way. If you're classically trained like I am, it's a little bit like mother's milk to me. I enjoy it.
My mother Molly had a nervous breakdown after my father Chic died, aged 50. He was a very generous man who ran a shop in Dundee giving a lot of people tick. When he died, a lot of people hadn't paid their bills, so he died with a lot of debt. After he died, my mother went doolally.
I actually went to see Rushmore (1998), and I came late, and I missed myself. It was great, that scene. I caught that scene the other day on TV, funny enough, the first scene that you see with Jason Schwartzman and myself, where we talk about his grades. That's a brilliant scene, and I have to say, we play it brilliantly.
Charles Laughton, who's a great hero of mine, only ever made one film and it happens to be one of the great films ever, which is 'The Night of the Hunter.' It's full of his kind of imagination and creation and how you do things and just in the way he used the studio, I just thought it was a fantastical way of using the studio.
There's so much light in Broughty Ferry. I think the humor in Glasgow is darker, because it's much more gloomy, there's a perpetual misery there.
The problem is that the U.K. in essence is a feudal society. It's everyone in their place.
I think I must be the only British actor who's played both Stalin and Trotsky. I need to play Lenin so I can make it a triptych.
I didn't have this feeling that I should be a leading actor in the cinema. And I wouldn't want the responsibility of the opening weekend.
For me, it's just acting. It's pretending. The best actors are children, and children don't do research. You never see a child going, 'I'm wondering about my motivation here. How can I do this toy? How can I do this train? I don't feel train.'
I did a film in which Andy Garcia and Michael Keaton both played the leads, Desperate Measures (1998) and interestingly enough it was their biggest payday. The film didn't do well, and it kind of marked their careers. They've done less since. It all changed.
I've directed a couple of times in the theater, but I wouldn't make a habit of it because it's too consuming.
I've always wanted to make a film.
There is a history of mental breakdowns in my family. It will never happen to me but it has happened to others in the family.
I enjoy acting now more than I ever have. I've had lots of difficult times when I was younger, but that was all tied up with thwarted ambition. It's hard being a young actor, because you don't realize until later that it's only ever about doing the work.

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