Brian Cox: From Dundee to Hollywood fame

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Brian Cox, the son of a shopkeeper and jute mill spinner, took his first steps towards a lengthy stage and screen career when he joined the Dundee Repertory Theatre Company in his native city at the age of 14 and landing a place at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts just two years later.

After a year with the Royal Lyceum, he joined Birmingham Rep and landed roles in the likes of Peer Gynt and As You Like It.

He appeared in the cult TV series The Prisoner in 1967, but it was not until 1971, when he played Leon Trotsky in Nicholas and Alexandra, that Cox was to make his film debut. He has balanced a career on the big screen with regular stage appearances, most notably with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre, with King Lear offering up his most famous role.

His best-known film appearances include Rob Roy, Braveheart, The Ring, Troy, X2 and the Bourne films.

Cox was made a CBE in 2002, was appointed Dundee University’s rector in 2010 and was the grand marshall at this year’s Tartan Day parade in New York. He is also the current patron of Scottish Youth Theatre.