Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Joseph Anthony "Tony" Cox (born March 31, 1958) is an American actor known for his roles in Bad Santa, Me, Myself and Irene, Date Movie, Epic Movie and Disaster Movie. He is also known for his role in George Lucas's Willow, as an Ewok in Return of the Jedi and as The Preacher in Tim Burton's Beetlejuice. Cox also appeared in various music videos.
Cox was born in Manhattan, New York, the son of Henrietta Cox-Penn and Joe Cox. He spent his childhood in Uniontown, Alabama, with his grandmother and grandfather, Lottie and Henry Jones. His mother and stepfather, Rudolph (Rudy) Penn, live in College Park, Georgia. By the age of 10 he became an avid drummer. He met his future wife, Otelia, during high school. They were eventually married in 1981 when Cox was 23 years old.
After graduation from high school, Cox attended the University of Alabama and originally planned to study music. Cox said in a 2003 interview with Jet magazine, "I played by ear. It was exactly like in Drumline. I played against some of the drummers from the school, and they didn't have anything on me. I just couldn't read music."
Shortly thereafter, Cox decided to pursue acting after watching Billy Barty, a dwarf who was an actor and also founder of the organization Little People of America. Encouraged by relatives and friends, he moved to Los Angeles at age 18. He began taking classes at the Merrick Studio School of Acting with Scriptwriter De De Tillman and soon began working in commercials, film, and television roles. He is better known for his roles in Bad Santa where he played Marcus, the brains of a safe cracking team, and in Date Movie where he played a parody of Dr. Hitch from Hitch. As second lead to Billy Bob Thornton, Cox's role in Bad Santa in which his character gradually changed from the main character's friend to his adversary. Cox reprised his role as Marcus in Bad Santa 2, released in 2016.
Cox also appeared on the TV show Martin in the first season, playing the character Bennie, in which he helps his friend Trey, played by Bushwick Bill, beat up Tommy played by Thomas Mikal Ford, over Tommy allegedly "stealing" his ex-girlfriend.
Cox also appeared in a pivotal role in the Farrelly Brothers' movie Me, Myself & Irene. Playing a Mensa International-member limousine driver who steals Jim Carrey's character's girlfriend, Cox once again distinguished himself as an adept comedic actor.
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