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Bud Cort
Born Walter Edward Cox
March 29, 1948 (1948-03-29) (age 61)
New Rochelle, New York, U.S.
Years active 1967-Present

Bud Cort (born March 29, 1948) is an American film and stage actor, writer, and director. He is best known for his portrayal of Harold from Hal Ashby's 1971 film Harold and Maude.


Early life

Cort was born Walter Edward Cox in New Rochelle, New York, but eventually grew up in Rye, New York. His father, Joseph Parker Cox, was a bandleader and pianist, also a World War II veteran, and merchant. His mother, Alma Mary Cox (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 Bud's adolescence was spent caring for his father (who died in 1971) and sisters, 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.


Cort 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, Bud’s life nearly ended in a car accident on the Hollywood Freeway. From behind, he collided with an abandoned car blocking a lane into which he was turning. Years of plastic surgery, enormous hospital bills, a lost court case, and the disruption of his career ensued.

Since, Cort has appeared in various 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, Arrested Development, 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 performed Toyman, a Superman villain, over the course of various DCAU cartoons including Superman: The Animated Series, Static Shock, and Justice League Unlimited.

On the November 8, 2007 original episode of Ugly Betty, he made a guest appearance as the priest officiating at Wilhelmina Slater's ill-fated wedding.


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
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
1975 Hallucination Strip Massimo Monaldi
1977 Why Shoot the Teacher? Max Brown
1978 Son of Hitler Willi Hitler
1980 Die Laughing Mueller
1981 She Dances Alone Director
1983 Hysterical Dr. John
Love Letters Danny De Fronso
1984 The Secret Diary of Sigmund Freud Sigmund Freud
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
1995 Girl in the Cadillac Bud
Heat Solenko, Restaurant Manager (uncredited)
1998 I Woke Up Early the Day I Died Shopkeeper (as Lord Hienrich '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
2004 The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou Bill Ubell Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
2007 The Number 23 Dr. Sirius Leary (uncredited)


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