American actor and comedian Walter Edward Cox (March 29, 1948 —), performing as Bud Cort because the name Wally Cox was already taken, is best known for his unconventional starring roles in Hal Ashby's Harold and Maude (1971) and Robert Altman's Brewster McCloud (1970). He's also known for supporting roles in numerous films including M*A*S*H (1970) as Pvt. Lorenzo Boone, Dogma (1999) as John Doe Jersey (God), and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) as Bill Ubell, the "insurance company stooge".

Born in New Rochelle with a strict Catholic upbringing in nearby Rye, New York, Cort graduated from the Iona Preparatory School and attended the NYU School of the Arts. While at NYU he performed in Off Broadway theater and did television work. Altman discovered him in a musical revue at New York's Upstairs at the Downstairs nightclub. Cort's titular role alongside Ruth Gordon in Harold and Maude won him France's Crystal Star award for Best Actor, along with Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations.

Living in Los Angeles, California for many years as a house guest of his friend and mentor Groucho Marx, Cort performed in Broadway theatrical productions during the 1970s and carefully picked his cinematic roles to avoid being typecast for playing "weird" characters. He was in a nearly fatal automobile accident on the Hollywood Freeway in 1979 that broke several bones and fractured his skull, lacerating his face and nearly severing his lower lip. He required plastic surgery and physical therapy, and his career arc was disrupted by the event.

Cort directed, co-wrote, and starred in Ted and Venus (1991) which critics called a "tiny masterpiece". A talented singer, he has performed at Carnegie Hall and around the world. He is a member of the Director's Unit at The Actors Studio but has retired from acting.


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