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Courteney Cox - Biography

The Friends and Scream franchise star was born in 1964

Courteney Cox smiling at a red carpet event
Hannah Watkin
Content Writer
Updated: 6 July 2023
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Early life

Born June 15, 1964, Courteney Bass Cox (once Courteney Cox Arquette) was raised in Birmingham, Alabama as the youngest of four children. Her dad Richard Cox, a businessman, and mom Courteney Copeland divorced in 1974. 

Courteney dropped out of the architecture course she was enrolled at Mount Vernon College setting her sights on becoming a model instead, despite being only 5ft 5in tall. After landing a series of successful TV ads she appeared in spots for Noxzema and Tampax, and became the first person to use the word "period" on American TV in 1985. Using the money earned by her commercials, she invested in drama classes and elocution lessons. 

Career success

Having earned her first few TV roles in shows such as The Love Boat, Murder She Wrote and a longer-running role on Family Ties in the mid 80s, Courteney's biggest break of course came in 1994 when she was cast as Monica Geller in Friends. Having originally auditioned for the role of Rachel, Courteney's previous roles in Family Ties, as well as in shows such as Seinfeld and in films such as Jim Carrey's Ace Ventura: Pet Detective made her the most well-known member of the cast, even if she was not in its star role. 

The sitcom's phenomenal success opened doors to further silver screen roles, such as her parts in the Scream franchise, The Shrink Is In, and post-Friends, Bedtime Stories, Just Before I Go and Mothers and Daughters. She also continued working in television after her time as Monica came to an end, taking star roles in shows such as Dirt, Cougar Town, and Shining Vale.

Personal life

After dating Michael Keaton from 1989 to 1995, Courteney's next relationship was with her scream co-star David Arquette. They married in June 1999, and had a daughter called Coco in June 2004. In 2010, the pair announced they had split. They finalized their divorce in 2013, but remain friends and continued to work together on their film company Coquette Productions.

Courteney got engaged to Snow Patrol singer and musician Johnny McDaid in 2014, but they called it off soon after. They do remain together, however.

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