Bud Cort

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Bud Cort
BornWalter Edward Cox
(1948-03-29) March 29, 1948 (age 66)
New Rochelle, New York, United States
Years active1967–present
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Bud Cort
BornWalter Edward Cox
(1948-03-29) March 29, 1948 (age 66)
New Rochelle, New York, United States
Years active1967–present

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

Early life[edit]

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 Court (née Cox), 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, since 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.[1]

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.[2]

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. He also voiced the character Josiah Wormwood in the animated television series Batman: The Animated Series.

Cort 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, he made a guest appearance as the priest officiating at Wilhelmina Slater's ill-fated wedding. He guest-starred on Criminal Minds in the episode "Mosley Lane," playing a predator who, with his wife, was kidnapping young children. In an ironic homage to his most famous role, his character, when faced with imminent capture, was shown hanging in an apparent suicide. Then, in 2012, he appeared as the artist "Gleeko" in the episode "Exit Wound the Gift Shop" in the second season of Adult Swim's Eagleheart.


1967Up the Down StaircaseStudentUncredited
1969Sweet CharityHippieUncredited
1970MASHPvt. Lorenzo Boone
The Strawberry StatementElliot—Coxswain
The Traveling ExecutionerJimmy Croft
Brewster McCloudBrewster McCloudNominated—Laurel Award for Male Star of Tomorrow
Harold and MaudeHarold Parker ChasenNominated—BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1973ColumboMilt (the police photographer)Episode: "Double Exposure"; uncredited
1975Hallucination StripMassimo Monaldi
1977Why Shoot the Teacher?Max Brown
1978Son of HitlerWilli Hitler
1980Brave New WorldBernard Marx
1980Die LaughingMueller
1981She Dances AloneDirector
1983HystericalDr. John
1984The Secret Diary of Sigmund FreudSigmund Freud
Love LettersDanny De Fronso
Electric DreamsEdgar, the ComputerVoice
Maria's LoversHarvey
Invaders from MarsMark Weinstein
1987Bates MotelAlex West
1988Love at StakeParson Babcock
The Chocolate WarBrother Jacques
1989Out of the DarkDoug Stringer
1990Going UnderMcNallyUncredited
Brain DeadJack Halsey
1991Ted & VenusTed Whitley
1995Girl in the CadillacBud
The Mask: The Animated SeriesFritz Drizzle/The TempestVoice
HeatSolenko, Restaurant ManagerUncredited
1996Theodore RexSpinner
1998I Woke Up Early the Day I DiedShopkeeper(as Lord Heinrich "Binky" Alcoa III)
Sweet JaneDr. Geiler
1999DogmaJohn Doe Jersey (aka God)
But I'm a CheerleaderPeter Bloomfield
2000South of Heaven, West of HellAgent Otts
The Million Dollar HotelShorty
Coyote UglyRomero
PollockHoward Putzel
2001MadeBernardo, Gay House OwnerUncredited
2003The Big EmptyNeely
2004The Life Aquatic With Steve ZissouBill UbellNominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
2006Arrested DevelopmentHimself
2007The Number 23Dr. Sirius LearyUncredited


  1. ^ AFI top 100 ranked #69
  2. ^ Bud Cort - Salon.com

External links[edit]