Bud Cort  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Bud Cort (born Walter Edward Cox; March 29, 1948) is an American film and stage actor, comedian, writer, director and voice artist widely known for his portrayals of Harold in Hal Ashby's 1971 film Harold and Maude and the eponymous hero in Robert Altman's 1970 film Brewster McCloud. Both films have large cult followings today.

Early life

Cort was born in New Rochelle, New York, and grew up in Rye, New York. His father, Joseph Parker Cox, was a bandleader and pianist, as well as a World War II veteran and merchant. His mother, Alma Mary (née Court), was a reporter and a merchant, who also worked in MGM studios. Cort has four siblings—three younger sisters and one older brother. His parents ran a clothing business in downtown Rye from the 1950s until the mid-1980s.

Most of Cort's adolescence was spent caring for his sisters and father; his father had multiple sclerosis and died of it in 1971. He also engaged in reading and painting. As a teenager he was a local portrait painting prodigy and began taking acting lessons. He was educated in Catholic schools and graduated from Iona Preparatory School in New Rochelle in 1966.


Cox (renamed Cort, a variation of his mother's maiden name, as the name Wally Cox was already taken) was discovered in a revue by director Robert Altman, who subsequently cast him in two of his movies, MASH and Brewster McCloud, in which he played the title role. Cort next went on to his most famous role, as the suicide-obsessed Harold, in Harold and Maude. Though the film was not particularly successful at the time of its release, it later gained international cult status and now is acclaimed as an American film classic.

On Broadway, Cort appeared in the short-lived 1972 play Wise Child by Simon Gray. Cort was invited to live with the famous comedian Groucho Marx in his Bel-Air mansion, and was present at Marx's death in 1977.

In 1979, Cort nearly died in a car accident on the Hollywood Freeway where he collided with an abandoned car blocking a lane into which he was turning. He broke an arm and a leg and sustained a concussion and a fractured skull. His face was severely lacerated and his lower lip nearly severed. Years of plastic surgery, substantial hospital bills, a lost court case, and the disruption of his career ensued.

In 1989 he directed the "Hôtel de Paris" episode of the second series of the ZDF German television documentary series Hotels, about famous hotels around the world.

Cort has since appeared in a number of film, stage and TV roles: Endgame, He Who Gets Slapped, Sledge Hammer!, The Chocolate War, The Big Empty, Theodore Rex, Dogma, But I'm A Cheerleader, Pollock, The Twilight Zone, The Secret Diary of Sigmund Freud and The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. Cort lent his voice to the computer in the movie Electric Dreams.

Cort voiced Toyman, a Superman villain, over the course of various DCAU series including Superman: The Animated Series, Static Shock, and Justice League Unlimited, as well as the character Josiah Wormwood in an episode of the earlier DCAU production Batman: The Animated Series. He had a cameo appearance as himself in the Arrested Development episode "Fakin' It", hosting a daytime court show called Bud Cort, a competitor to a similar daytime court show in the series called Mock Trial with J. Reinhold.

On the November 8, 2007 episode of Ugly Betty, Cort made a guest appearance as the priest officiating at Wilhelmina Slater's ill-fated wedding. In 2010, he guest-starred on Criminal Minds in the episode "Mosley Lane." Cort played an elderly pedophile Roger Roycewood, who along with his wife, kidnapped and killed young children. In an ironic homage to his most famous role (see Harold and Maude) Roycewood hanged himself in an apparent suicide. In 2012, he appeared as the artist "Gleeko" in the episode "Exit Wound the Gift Shop" in the second season of Eagleheart.

Cort's voice can be heard as The King in the English-language version of The Little Prince (2015). The film premiered out of competition at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and won the César Award for Best Animated Film in February 2016. It will become available to U.S. audiences through Netflix later in 2016.


Year Film Role Notes
1967 Up the Down Staircase Student Uncredited
1969 Sweet Charity Hippie Uncredited
1970 MASH Pvt. Lorenzo Boone
The Strawberry Statement Elliot—Coxswain
The Traveling Executioner Jimmy Croft
Brewster McCloud Brewster McCloud Nominated—Laurel Award for Male Star of Tomorrow
1971 Gas-s-s-s Hooper
Harold and Maude Harold Parker Chasen Nominated—BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1973 Columbo Milt (the police photographer) Episode: "Double Exposure"; uncredited
1975 Hallucination Strip Massimo Monaldi
1977 Why Shoot the Teacher? Max Brown
1977 Pumping Iron Himself
1978 Son of Hitler Willi Hitler
1980 Brave New World Bernard Marx
1980 Die Laughing Mueller
1981 She Dances Alone Director
1983 Hysterical Dr. John
1984 The Secret Diary of Sigmund Freud Sigmund Freud
Love Letters Danny De Fronso
Electric Dreams Edgar, the Computer Voice
Maria's Lovers Harvey
1986 Telephone
Invaders from Mars Mark Weinstein
1987 Bates Motel Alex West
1988 Love at Stake Parson Babcock
The Chocolate War Brother Jacques
1989 Out of the Dark Doug Stringer
1990 Going Under McNally Uncredited
Brain Dead Jack Halsey
1991 Ted & Venus Ted Whitley
1992 Batman:The Animated Series Josiah Wormwood Voice
1995 Girl in the Cadillac Bud
The Mask: The Animated Series Fritz Drizzle/The Tempest Voice
Heat Solenko, Restaurant Manager Uncredited
1996 Theodore Rex Spinner
Superman: the Animated Series Toyman Voice
1998 I Woke Up Early the Day I Died Shopkeeper (as Lord Heinrich "Binky" Alcoa III)
Sweet Jane Dr. Geiler
1999 Dogma John Doe Jersey (aka God)
But I'm a Cheerleader Peter Bloomfield
2000 South of Heaven, West of Hell Agent Otts
The Million Dollar Hotel Shorty
Coyote Ugly Romero
Pollock Howard Putzel
2001 Made Bernardo, Gay House Owner Uncredited
2003 The Big Empty Neely
Static Shock Toyman Voice
2004 The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou Bill Ubell Nominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
2006 Justice League Toyman Voice
Arrested Development Himself
2007 The Number 23 Dr. Sirius Leary Uncredited
2010 Criminal Minds Roger Roycewood
2012 Eagleheart Gleeko
2014 Dream Corps LLC Carl Kwartz
2015 The Little Prince The King Voice

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Bud Cort" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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