Bud Cort (Actor) - Harold & Maude
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Updated: 3/3/16

Name: Bud Cort

Birth Name: Walter Edward Cox

Born: March 29, 1948, New Rochelle, New York

Claim To Fame: He is best known for playing Harold in Hal Ashby's 1971 film Harold and Maude.

Family Life: No info found.

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Info: Cort was born in New Rochelle, New York, and grew up in Rye, New York. Cort's father had multiple sclerosis, and so Cort spent a lot of time in his youth caring for his sisters and father. His father died of the disease in 1971.

During his teen years, Cort was a painter and also began taking acting lessons. He was discovered in a revue by director Robert Altman, who cast him in MASH and Brewster McCloud. His next role, as the suicide-obsessed Harold, in Harold and Maude, became his most famous, and the movie went on to become an American film classic.

He went on to appear in a bunch of movies, television, and stage roles, including 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.

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Trivia: Has three younger sisters and one older brother.

His parents ran a clothing business in downtown Rye from the 1950s until the mid-1980s.

Attended Catholic schools and graduated from Iona Preparatory School in New Rochelle in 1966.

His father, Joseph Parker Cox, was a bandleader and pianist, as well as a World War II veteran and merchant.

His mother, Alma Mary Cox (n?e Court), was a reporter and a merchant, who also worked in MGM studios.

Is a founding member of the L.A. Classical Theatre.

In 1979, he was nearly killed in a car accident where he suffered a fractured skull, severe facial lacerations, the loss of several teeth and a broken arm and leg.

Used to have a band who called themselves "Bud Cort and the Medflies." They occasionally performed at a "night spot" on the Sunset Strip in L.A. and at The Roxy Theatre.

Changed his name from Walter Edward Cox to Bud Cort when he realized he could not share his name with well-known character actor Wally Cox. He chose "Bud," as it was a nickname he'd been called, and "Cort" derived from his mother's maiden name, being Court, and the Cort Theatre in New York City.

First used the name "Bud Cort" when applying for an Equity card.

Proposed (twice) to actress Patti D'Arbanville.

Was a close friend of Orson Welles and Ruth Gordon, and is very good friends with Sally Kellerman.

When asked who he wanted to play Maude in Harold and Maude, he suggested Greta Garbo.

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Where Are They Now: Cort has lent his voice to a number of projects over the years. Most recently, he voiced Carl Kwarts in the 2014 TV movie Dream Corp LLC, and The Little King in the 2015 animated film The Prince.

In 2012, he appeared as the artist "Gleeko" in the episode "Exit Wound the Gift Shop" in the second season of Eagleheart.

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