5 Things You Didn’t Know About Succession’s Brian Cox

An Emmy Award-winning Scottish actor, Brian Cox has over 200 acting credits garnered in his illustrious film and television career. He is particularly lauded for his depiction of the tyrannical media mogul Logan Roy in the comedy-drama television series Succession from 2018 to 2023. Cox stands out for his deep smooth voice, white hair, and dark blue eyes, often playing cruel or immoral patriarchal figures, as well as government or military officials.

Beyond the cinematic realm, Brian Cox is classically trained in Shakespearean acting. Like most influential actors of his ilk, Cox began his acting career on stage. He was 14 at the time and several decades down the line, he is considered one of the greatest stage and screen actors of his era with numerous awards under his belt, including Olivier Awards, Golden Globe, and Emmy. Cox is an accomplished Shakespearean actor who is aptly recognized with the award of Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2003 Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for his services to drama.

1. Brian Cox Was Raised By His Elder Sisters

Brian Cox as Hannibal Lecter

Of Irish and Scottish descent, Brian Cox was born on June 1, 1946, in Dundee, Scotland. He is the youngest of five children born to his mother Mary Ann Guillerline, a spinner, and his father, Charles McArdle Campbell Cox, a police officer. Cox’s mother worked in the jute mills and often suffered bouts of nervous breakdown when he was still very young. His father left his police job to become a shopkeeper and later died of cancer when Cox was eight years old. Subsequently, three of Cox’s older sisters took up the task of bringing him up. He became very close to his sister Betty as a result and they have maintained that bond.

2. He Trained At The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art

Cox on Succession

Growing up in Dundee, Brian Cox acquired his early education from St Mary’s Forebank Primary School. He later attended St Michael’s Junior Secondary School and left at the age of 15. Subsequently, he began working at Dundee Repertory Theatre, honing his acting skills for a few years before enrolling in the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art at age 17. Cox graduated from LAMDA in 1965, four years after he officially launched his acting career at Dundee Repertory Theatre in 1961.

3. Brian Cox Is A Founding Member of Royal Lyceum Theatre

Brian Cox

The years he spent at Dundee Repertory Theatre prepared him for bigger milestones. Brian Cox was still in his teens when he became one of the founding members of the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh in 1965. The theatre is named after the Theatre Royal Lyceum and the English Opera House. Cox performed in the theatre’s first show – The Servant O’ Twa Maisters in October of the same year. Subsequently, Cox got busy, working at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre where he played the title character in Peter Gynt (1967).

He debuted at West End in June 1967 when he performed in the Vaudeville Theatre’s As You Like It as Orlando. Brian Cox went on to become an accomplished Shakespearean actor, working with both the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre in the 1980s and 1990s. He has also received recognition for his illustrious career in the theatre, including a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a New Play.

4. Brian Cox Is The First Actor To Play Hannibal Lecter On The Screen

Brian Cox in Manhunter

During the early 1970s, Brian Cox established himself as an actor with great potential. He appeared in several television films at the time but his earliest big break came in the 1986 Manhunter where he portrayed Dr. Hannibal Lecter. The role was a groundbreaking one as it marked the character’s first film appearance. Cox’s portrayal of the serial killer was based on real-life Scottish serial killer Peter Manuel. While his role was critically acclaimed, the film didn’t get much love at the box office. Nevertheless, Cox garnered more public attention for his performance.

5. Brian Cox Married His Third Wife In 2002

Brian Cox

Brian Cox was first married to Lilian Monroe-Carr but the details of their union never made it to the public space. However, the marriage ended in a divorce. He married his second wife – Caroline Burt in 1968 and after almost two decades, they divorced in 1986. Cox and Burt welcomed two children (Margaret and Alan) during their marriage.

The third time seems to be the charm for Brian Cox who has been married to his third wife – actress Nicole Ansari since 2002. The marriage produced two sons named Orson Jonathan Cox and Torin Kamran Cox. The actor’s primary residence is in New York City but he has a home in Primrose Hill, London. Out of Cox’s three children, only Alan has stepped into his acting shoes. He is known for his roles in A Voyage Round My Father (1982) and Young Sherlock Holmes (1985).

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