Courteney Cox Movies
Born on June 15, 1964, Courteney Cox
grew up with three older siblings in Mountain Brook, an affluent Alabama town. Though Cox
participated in multiple extracurricular activities during her high school years, she did not exercise her taste for acting until she dropped out of the architecture program at Mount Vernon College. Landing a contract with the prestigious Ford Modeling Agency led Cox
to several commercial appearances. Her first official role arrived in 1984, when she was cast as a young debutante in one episode of the long-running soap opera As the World Turns.
Her big break, however, was rooted in director Brian De Palma
's decision to feature Cox
as the girl pulled from the audience in Bruce Springsteen
's "Dancing in the Dark" video. Years later, after the actress had gained a great deal more notoriety, this short music-video appearance became a key piece of celebrity trivia in a multitude of magazines and entertainment shows. In 1985, she starred alongside Dean Paul Martin
in the forgettable series Misfits of Science
reappeared on the television screen as Michael J. Fox
's girlfriend, Psychology major Lauren Miller, in the '80s sitcom Family Ties
landed bit parts in a handful of mediocre films (Mr. Destiny
, The Opposite Sex and How to Live with Them
) after Family Ties
wrapped in 1989, her status as an actress officially gelled in 1994, when she co-starred with Jim Carrey
in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
, and, most notably, won the role of Monica Geller on the hugely successful sitcom Friends
. This role brought her a nomination for an American Comedy Award, as well as a prominent role in Wes Craven
's Scream trilogy. Cox
's role as the notoriously cutthroat reporter Gale Weathers was significant not only in terms of critical acclaim, but also because the set of Scream was where she met fellow actor David Arquette
, whom she married in 1999.
Although she certainly attempted to match the big screen-success of her fellow Friends
castmates with such efforts as 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001), and The Longest Yard (2005), Cox-Arquette fought a tortuous uphill battle, and never managed to land a part that brought her nearly as much goodwill as the high-strung Monica. She voiced Daisy the Cow in Steve Oedekerk's 2006 animated feature Barnyard, alongside an all-star cast that includes Danny Glover, Kevin James, Wanda Sykes, Sam Elliott and Andie MacDowell. The endeavor became a double-edged sword; on one hand, most critics detested the $50 million picture; on the other, it worked wonders at the box office, as one of the top grossers of its season.
Cox-Arquette's decision to join the cast of the family-friendly superhero story Zoom alongside Tim Allen and Chevy Chase didn't prove nearly as capricious. The picture suffered from relentless (though arguably justifiable) critical drubbings and performed abysmally on a commercial front, grossing just over $4 million in the week that followed its premiere - from an estimated $60 million budget. It also became the latest in Allen's long line of box office stinkers that included Christmas with the Kranks, Joe Somebody, and many others; The New York Times's Jeannette Catsoulis moaned that it "bleeds boredom from every frame," while Entertainment Weekly's Lisa Schwartzbaum observed, "this lifeless family comedy sucks the joy from every joke it touches."
That same year, the trades indicated Cox
's forthcoming producer credit in longtime husband David Arquette
's 2007 directorial debut, the slasher picture The Tripper, with Balthazar Getty, Paul Reubens and Lukas Haas. The Hostel-like story involved a group of potheads who travel to a Woodstock-esque concert for indulgence in sensual (and visceral) pleasures, but find themselves stalked by a psychotic. Cox
and Arquette each cameo in the film.
2007 also found Cox returning to TV, producing and starring in the dramatic thriller Dirt, about the seedy side of an already seedy industry - the tabloid press. The show only ran until 2008, but Cox was soon onto the next project, the sitcom Cougar Town, which she produced and starred in as well. By 2011, she was back in the movies, working on Scream 4 -- though production also brought rumors that she and husband/co-star David Arquette were separating.
~ Tracie Cooper, Rovi
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Dolph Lundgren stars in this live-action film version of the popular television cartoon series (based on a collection of Mattel action figures). Lundgren is He-Man, a well-muscled super-hero, battling the evil Skeletor (Frank Langella) for control of the universe. Skeletor has designs on conquering the planet Eternia, a ravaged utopia ruled over by the Sorceress of Greyskull Castle (Christina Pickles). He-Man is summoned to stop Skeletor's plans. But when the wily dwarf Gwildor (Billy Barty) utilizes his Cosmic Key, He-Man and Skeletor finds themselves transported to California. There, a waitress named Julie (Courteney Cox) and her boyfriend Kevin (Robert Duncan Mitchell) come across the Cosmic Key and become embroiled in the intergalactic battle between He-Man and Skeletor. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi
- Dolph Lundgren, Frank Langella, (more)
In this well-wrought, fast-paced caper flick, a naive, good-hearted waitress doesn't think twice about helping her troubled roommate. Unfortunately, her help lands her in Central America fleeing for her life with a grungy mercenary. They are chased because the two are believed to have possession of a priceless religious icon. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi
- Carey Lowell, Charles Rocket, (more)
Season Three of Murder She Wrote begins with the first episode of a two-part story, in which mystery writer Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) pays a visit to the Carmody Circus, an extremely small-time operation. It seems that Jessica has evidence that one of the circus' employees, a roustabout-clown who calls himself Carl, is actually her brother-in-law Neil (Jackie Cooper), who has long been presumed dead. No sooner does Jessica link up with Neil than the man is accused of murdering the circus' hateful manager Hank Sutter (Charles Napier). A young Courtney Cox appears as Neil's granddaughter, Carol Bannister. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
In the second half of Murder She Wrote's two-part Season Three opener, Jessica's long-missing brother in law Neil Fletcher (Jackie Cooper), who has been working under an alias with the Carmody Circus, has confessed to the murder of circus manager Hank Sutter. Jessica (Angela Lansbury) is convinced that Neil is innocent, and that he is covering up for somebody else--and this proves to be a reasonable conclusion when a second murder occurs, in which the victim is rival circus owner Harry Kingman (Joe Dorsey). Seriously hampering Jessica's investigation is the stone wall of resistance built up by the highly clannish circus folk--and by the curiously hostile local authorities. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
This sci-fi outing is the pilot for a short-lived television series and chronicles the adventures of a gang of unusually talented teens. One uses his mind to control others, another is a wizard at cryogenics, while the other two can manipulate electrical energy and make things change sizes. This time, they team up to keep the government from using a deadly neutron cannon. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi
No relation to the later cable-TV sitcom of the same name, Dream On is a tale of struggling LA actors seeking out an audience. This talented but impoverished troupe stages a "guerilla theatre" production, wherein each actor takes on a variety of characterizations. Given that the actors include an ex-hooker and a pair of mismatched homosexuals, perhaps the troupe is using their production as a means of escaping the torments of their own lives. Perhaps, nothing-that's just what they're doing. Most of the unknown players in Dream On have remained unknown, with the spectacular exceptions of Ed Harris and Paul "Pee-wee Herman" Reubens. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
- Ed Harris, Erin Nico, (more)