Courteney Cox turned into a worldwide superstar overnight when she got part of Monica Geller on Friends. The Alabama native’s life changed drastically, as she not only became very famous but also extremely rich.
Courteney Cox’s career was on the rise when she got the Friends job. The now 57-year-old was one of the stars in a music video that turned legendary years earlier.
So how did Courteney Cox like the role of Monica? And what is she doing now? Here’s all you need to know about her.
For all actors and actresses, getting your big break must be such a kick, knowing that you are on your way to something big. For some, this happens during their childhood days, while others have to struggle and fight for years before getting their break in their 30s or 40s.
Courteney Cox – ‘Friends’ superstar
However, once that big breakthrough arrives, things usually just go upwards. And for Courteney Cox, one can easily say that was the case.
The Alabama native was cast in Bruce Springsteen’s music video for “Dancing in the Dark,” which was the start of her career in Hollywood. Soon after, she got the role of Monica Geller on the legendary sitcom Friends, and her life changed forever.
Lately, Courteney Cox has worked on several other projects, and over the years, she created a wonderful family and welcomed her children.
At the same time, she’s also been very outspoken on plastic surgery and facelifts, a subject which she now has made a complete U-turn on.
This is all you need to know about Courteney “Monica Geller” Cox!
Courteney Cox was born on June 15, 1964, in Birmingham, Alabama. The youngest of four children to parents Courteney and Richard Lewis Cox. When she was young, she was taunted at school for her last name.
“I hated my last name, but then when my dad passed away I thought, ‘I’m going to own this and keep this going,’ because there [was no one else] in the family to keep it alive,” she told Howard Stern.
When she was 10 years old, her parents divorced. Courteney Cox went on to live with her mother and later stepfather, however, the divorce had stayed with her.
Bruce Springsteen’s music video
In an interview with The Guardian, Cox explained that one of her earlier – or the earliest – memories she has was when her parents divorced. And regarding what she feels she owed to her parents, she said, “my mum wasn’t a go-getter so I am thankful that I was able to witness that and be completely the opposite.”
Courteney Cox didn’t have a career in acting in her mind from a young age. Instead, she wanted to become an architect. She went to Mount Vernon College to study architecture but decided to drop out and instead move to New York City, where she started modeling for a living. Simultaneously, she also worked at a music agency.
Courteney’s modeling career didn’t last long, but not because she wasn’t good at it. She soon transferred her skills into acting.
In 1985, at the age of 21, Courteney Cox got her big breakthrough, but it wasn’t in a film or a modeling job, it was in a music video.
Director Brian De Palma had gotten the gig of producing and directing Bruce Springsteen’s music video to the smash hit “Dancing In The Dark.“
Cox’s big break came when she was cast by Brian De Palma in the video for “Dancing in the Dark.” It was filmed during Springsteen’s concert at the St. Paul Civic Center in Minnesota on June 29, 1984, and Courteney Cox got the role of an adoring fan in the front row.
Courteney Cox, Bruce Springsteen
Towards the end of the video, “The Boss” – who was said to have been unaware of Cox being a “fake” fan – brought Courteney up on stage. They started dancing to the wonderful saxophone solo played by legendary musician Clarence Clemons.
First work in television
But looking back, Courteney Cox wasn’t exactly happy with her performance in the “Dancing in The Dark” video.
“That was not good dancing on my part,” she said. “I would only [recreates] that as a joke.”
“Dancing In The Dark” became Bruce Springsteen’s first video that was heavily played on MTV. Therefore, Cox’s screen time was massive as well, and it helped her in her pursuit of a successful career. She only appeared in about 20 seconds of the video, but it helped her get noticed. The same year, Courteney Cox starred in the film Misfits of Science, and two years later, she got her first big role.
She starred in the popular sitcom Family Ties, and in the early 1990s, several smaller parts were added to her resume, including Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, co-starring with Jim Carrey.
Sure, Courteney Cox was on her way to having a really good acting career, but what happened in 1995 was something she never could’ve anticipated.
At that time, Marta Kauffman together with David Crane had created a new show, which would be about six friends living in New York. Friends were reality, and Courteney Cox was cast as the slightly neurotic, and super competitive, Monica Geller.
Aaron Rapoport/CORBIS OUTLINE/Corbis via Getty Images
Back in 1993, Kauffman and Crane had started working on the show. It premiered on September 22 – and already from the start, it was destined to be a success.
Courteney Cox – Monica Geller on ‘Friends’
As of today, Friends is considered one of the biggest sitcoms in history, staying on television for 10 seasons and a total of 236 episodes.
The finale was watched by more than 50 million American viewers. Courteney Cox – alongside Jennifer Aniston as Rachel, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe, Matt LeBlanc as Joey, Matthew Perry as Chandler, and David Schwimmer as Ross – became a worldwide superstar through her performance.
“Let’s face it, she’s adorable and intelligent and really together. She is Monica,” Marta Kauffman said in 1995, referring to Courteney Cox’s responsible and compulsively tidy character Monica on the show.
“I love Monica, because not only is she a grown-up, and that’s good for people to see, but I can bring more of my own personality to her, and I’ve never really been able to do that before,” Cox explained. “She can be goofy and angry and sarcastic and a little bit naughty. People think of her sort as the goody-goody and then prude on the show, but I think she has more sex than any of the others.”
Funny enough, Courteney Cox could see a lot of herself in her character, which turned out to be a legendary one. And in fact, she is what she calls a “neat freak” in real life as well, just as Monica on Friends.
“I don’t use a lint brush or anything, and I don’t iron, but I could easily pick lint off of someone else. I was doing, I think it was The John Stewart Show and I was picking things off of him and I thought ‘oh my god, I’m just like Monica. This is too scary,’” Cox added.
Courteney Cox – net worth & ‘Friends’ salary
Friends became a worldwide phenomenon, and Courteney and her co-stars were paid generously. In the final seasons, it’s said that the Friends cast earned a staggering $1 million per episode.
Still to this day, even though it’s been 17 years since the last episode aired – the cast is said to earn about $20 million per year just for the reruns. That’s because they get two percent of the show’s syndication revenue, as reported by The Independent. Netflix reportedly paid $80-$100 million just to keep the show on its platform through 2019.
As of today, Courteney Cox has a net worth of around $150 million.
Of course, money will make things easier. But at the time they shot Friends, Courteney Cox had one thing that really hurt her. All the other cast members earned an Emmy nomination sometime during the show’s lifetime, but not Courteney Cox.
“Sure. Yeah, it always hurt my feelings,” Cox told Howard Stern. “When every single cast member was nominated but me, it definitely hurt my feelings. I was happy for everybody, and then when it was finally like, ‘Oh, I’m the only one?’ It hurt.”
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images
“I want them to win, I just also want to be part of I’ve never wanted to take anything away from anyone,” she added. “I just sometimes want to be included in certain things. And these girls on the show and the guys, everyone deserved every [nomination].”
Career after ‘Friends’
Courteney Cox might not have gotten an Emmy while on Friends. But awards would come her way through her many great performances moving on.
Following her stint on Friends, Courteney Cox moved on to work on other television projects, foremost on the sitcom Cougar Town. Cox starred as Jules Cobb in a total of 102 episodes between 2009 and 2015, and this time, she’d be recognized for her performance.
In 2010, Cox earned a Golden Globe nomination for her role on Cougar Town for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical. In 2021, the actress also got her recognition from the Friends era, as she and her castmates were nominated for Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded) for the Friends reunion special.
As of today, Courteney Cox still works in television. She’s starring in the new television series Shining Vale, which is now in post-production, according to IMDB.
Through the years, Courteney Cox didn’t only become a worldwide superstar, but also a wife and mother.
She tied the know with actor David Arquette in 1999, and the couple welcomed daughter Coco Arquette in 2004.
Family, husband, dating
However, their marriage ended in divorce in 2013, and since, Cox has dated musician and record producer Johnny McDaid, famously known for being the singer of the band Snow Patrol.
Over the years, rumors about Courteney Cox going through with plastic surgery and botox reached the surface. And in 2017, she said that it was true.
In an interview with New Beauty, Cox said she had plenty of fillers, but also that the industry of plastic surgery and enhancing your face through different surgical procedures is kind of crazy.
Courteney Cox, Coco Arquette
“Well, what would end up happening is that you go to a doctor who would say, ‘You look great, but what would help is a little injection here or filler there.’ So you walk out and you don’t look so bad and you think, no one noticed—it’s good,” Courteney Cox said.
“Then somebody tells you about another doctor: ‘This person’s amazing. They do this person who looks so natural.’ You meet them and they say, ‘You should just do this.’ The next thing you know, you’re layered and layered and layered. You have no idea because it’s gradual until you go, ‘Oh sh*t, this doesn’t look right.’ And it’s worse in pictures than in real life. I have one friend who was like, ‘Whoa, no more!’ I thought, I haven’t done anything in six months, I didn’t realize.”
In the end, however, Courteney Cox decided that the best thing is to be yourself, no matter what. Therefore, she went on to dissolve all her fillers.
Courteney Cox – fillers & no-makeup photo
Since her celebrity status is huge, Cox can also be a role model to other people without recognizing it. Therefore, it sure is inspiring to see her Instagram – where she often poses without makeup.
“I’m as natural as I can be. I feel better because I look like myself. I think that I now look more like the person that I was, I hope I do,” Cox said.
“Things are going to change. Everything’s going to drop. I was trying to make it not drop, but that made me look fake. You need movement in your face, especially if you have thin skin like I do. Those aren’t wrinkles—they’re smile lines. I’ve had to learn to embrace movement and realize that fillers are not my friend. “
Courteney Cox was amazing as Monica Geller on Friends. And still, to this day, the classic sitcom is watched around the world.
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