Courteney Bass Cox was born June 15, 1964 in Birmingham, Alabama, USA.Courteney is the fourth child of Richard (born in 1930) and Courteney (*1934) Cox. She has one brother, Richard, two sisters (Virginia respectively Dottie Pickett) and nine half-siblings. Courteney's parents divorced when she was ten. She stayed with her mother who married businessman Hunter Copeland (*1918) in 1976. Her father, a building contractor, moved to Florida where he remarried in 1975.After graduation from the Mountain Brook High School in Birmingham (1982) she began to study architecture/interior decoration at the Mount Vernon College in Washington. In the summer holidays she went to New York where she was subsequently signed by the Ford modeling agency. After some shoots for magazines like Teen Beat and Young Miss, and for romance-novel covers she started working in television commercials for Maybelline, Noxzema and the New York Telephone Company, among other sponsors.
Courteney made her acting debut in 1984 on the daytime soap ''As the World Turns'', and later that same year, she was casted by Brian de Palma for Bruce Springsteen's video 'Dancing in the Dark'. After the video which probably opened Courteney some doors for her acting career later, Courteney hosted a music show called 'This Week's Music'. She also worked in 1984 at F.B.I. (Frontier Booking International) a concert booking agency in New York run by Ian Copeland (brother of Stewart of the Police) and a cousins of Cox's. Her first well known work as an actress she did in 1987 when she was cast as the bright, perky girlfriend of Michael J. Fox on 'Family Ties'.Following the series, she did several feature films which had disappointing box office performance. Courteney had her first success as a movie actress when she appeared in 'Ace Ventura: Pet Detective' together with Jim Carrey.Her stage work includes 'King of Hearts' at the Tiffany Theatre in L.A., where she starred with Michael Spound (1989).
The final break-through to a star she achieved in 1994 with the hit tv-series 'Friends' where she is playing 'Monica Geller'. The show's producers originally envisioned her in the role of Rachel but Courteney convinced them to give her the other role.In 1995 Courteney co-hosted the 'MTV Movie Awards'.Her biggest success on the big screen so far was the movie 'Scream' (1996) which made more than $100 million in the US. After the low budget movie 'Commandments' (release 5/97) she continued the success with the sequel of Scream ('Scream 2'). It was released December 12, 1997 and made almost $40 million at its opening weekend.Since summer 1998 Courteney is engaged with David Arquette whom she met during the shooting of Scream. She married him on June 12, 1999.