Ronny Cox

Ronny Cox

Ronny Cox, in 2006
Born Daniel Ronald Cox
(1938-07-23) July 23, 1938
Cloudcroft, New Mexico, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
  • Actor
  • Singer-songwriter
  • Storyteller
Years active 1972-present
Home town Portales, New Mexico, U.S.
Spouse(s) Mary Cox (1960-2006; her death; 2 children)

Daniel Ronald "Ronny" Cox (born July 23, 1938) is an American actor, singer-songwriter and storyteller. His best-known roles include Drew Ballinger in Deliverance (1972), George Apple in Apple's Way (1974–75), Lieutenant Andrew Bogomil in Beverly Hills Cop (1984), Richard "Dick" Jones in RoboCop (1987) and the villain Vilos Cohaagen in Total Recall (1990). Cox wrote a book about his experience filming Deliverance for the movie's 40th anniversary in 2012. He plays over 100 shows at festivals and theaters each year with his band.

Personal life

Cox, the third of five children, was born in Cloudcroft, New Mexico, the son of Lounette (née Rucker) and Bob P. Cox, a carpenter who also worked at a dairy.[1][2] He grew up in Portales, New Mexico. Cox met his wife, Mary, when in high school and they married in 1960.[3] Cox graduated from Eastern New Mexico University in 1963 with a double major in Theater and Speech Correction. Mary died in 2006, 50 years to the day of their first date. Cox often talks about her during his music performances.[3][4]

Acting career

As an actor, Cox made his debut in the acclaimed 1972 film Deliverance. In one scene he plays the instrumental "Dueling Banjos" on his guitar with a banjo-playing mountain boy, played by child actor Billy Redden. He was hired for the role because he could play the guitar.[5] Cox published a book in 2012 in which he recounted his experiences making the film.[6]

In the period 1974-1975, Cox starred in the short-lived CBS family-oriented dramatic series entitled Apple's Way, created by Earl Hamner, creator of The Waltons. He also appeared as Mr. Webb in a television production of Our Town[7]. In 1977, he appeared in the episode "Devil Pack" from the series Quinn Martin's Tales of the Unexpected (known in the United Kingdom as Twist in the Tale).[8] In 1984, 12 years after the movie Deliverance, Cox once again played a member of a small group of men who are, this time, lost in the Nevada desert and being chased by bloodthirsty locals in the low-budget film Courage.[9]

One of Cox's roles was that of Dr. John Gideon during the final season of the television medical drama St. Elsewhere. Cox's character was famously mooned by Dr. Donald Westphall (Ed Flanders) at the end of the third episode of season six.

In 1987, Cox was cast in the Paul Verhoeven film RoboCop, as corporate arch-villain Richard "Dick" Jones.[10]

In 1990, Cox co-starred as Los Angeles Police Chief Roger Kendrick in the short-lived Cop Rock, presenting a striking physical resemblance to the real-world incumbent, Chief Daryl Gates. He also appeared as the antagonistic Mars Administrator Vilos Cohaagen in Total Recall the same year.

Cox made a notable appearance on Star Trek: The Next Generation as the "efficient but impersonable" Captain Edward Jellico in the two-part episode "Chain of Command". He has also played Henry Mason, the father of Bree Van de Kamp (Marcia Cross) on Desperate Housewives.

In 1997, Cox portrayed the fictional President of the United States Jack Neil in the movie Murder at 1600. Cox also portrayed John Ramsey in the 2000 television film Perfect Murder, Perfect Town.

Cox has also appeared as Lieutenant/Captain/Chief of Police Andrew Bogomil in Beverly Hills Cop and Beverly Hills Cop II, and Senator/Vice-President Robert Kinsey in Stargate SG-1.

Cox had a role in The Starter Wife TV series. He played Pappy McCallister, the husband of Molly Kagan's best friend Joan.

Cox has occasionally done animation-voice work, lending his voice to the Tyrusian deserter Doc in Invasion America, and Senator McMillan in Todd McFarlane's Spawn.

Cox guest starred in an episode of Matthew Perry's 2011 series Mr Sunshine with Beverly Hills Cop co-star John Ashton.[11]

Cox played Walter Kenney in Dexter season six episode three ("Smokey and the Bandit").[12]

Cox guest starred in an episode of Diagnosis Murder entitled The Pressure to Murder, episode 9, Season 3.

Music career

Despite having a successful acting career, Cox said that music now comes first in his life. He turns down about 90% of the acting jobs he is offered in order to play over 100 shows at festivals and theaters each year.[13][14] He is accompanied by his band of world-class, virtuoso musicians.[15] Cox also leads a musical tour to Ireland each year.[16]



Year Title
2014 Ronny Cox Live In Concert – The Official Bootleg
2012 Ronny, Rad and Karen
2009 Songs... with Repercussions
2008 How I Love Them Old Songs...
2006 Ronny Cox at the Sebastiani Theatre
2006 Ronny Cox: Songs, Stories... and Out & Out Lies (DVD)
2004 Ronny Cox Live
2002 Cowboy Savant
2000 Acoustic Eclectricity
1993 Ronny Cox


Further reading

  • Voisin, Scott Character Kings: Hollywood's Familiar Faces Discuss the Art & Business of Acting. BearManor Media, 2009. ISBN 978-1-59393-342-5


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