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Courteney Cox Wanted to Be an Architect before Acting — Look Back at Her Rise to Fame

Manuela Cardiga
Dec 26, 2020
07:55 A.M.

Courteney Cox became famous as Monica Geller in the iconic comedy series "Friends," but before that, she was a model with a very different dream.

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Courteney Cox became famous as Monica Geller in the iconic comedy series "Friends," but before that, she was a model, and her big dream was to become an architect.

Her journey from aspiring architect at the Mount Vernon College to world-famous actress was an unusual one. The acting bug bit Cox, and she dropped out of college to pursue a new dream.

1994 Publicity shot from the first season of "Friends" -- Courteney Cox as Monica Geller | Source: Getty Images

1994 Publicity shot from the first season of "Friends" -- Courteney Cox as Monica Geller | Source: Getty Images

GROWING UP

Cox was the youngest of four siblings, and the defining moment of her childhood was her parents' divorce when she was 10 years old. Cox, who had been particularly close to her father, was devastated.

She revealed that she coped with the pain by lashing out and rebelling against her mother, blaming her for the divorce. It would be years before Cox realized that her parents' relationship just didn't work.

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Courteney Cox at the American Film Institute's 46th Life Achievement Award Gala in 2018 | Source: Getty Images

Courteney Cox at the American Film Institute's 46th Life Achievement Award Gala in 2018 | Source: Getty Images

THE MODELING EXPERIENCE

Cox's blue-eyed beauty led her into a successful modeling career, and she was cast in a series of commercials, including the famous 1984 Tampax commercial in which she actually said the forbidden word, "period."

But Cox's big break came when she was cast in the Bruce Springsteen video, "Dancing in the Dark." At that time, Cox's acting credits amounted to two days on "As The World Turns."

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FAME

"Dancing In The Dark" opened wide the door of opportunity, with roles in movies like "Down Twisted" and "Masters of the Universe," and guest spots in series like "Misfits of Science" and the sitcom, "Family Ties."

Then Cox was asked to audition for "Friends," but the role the producers had in mind for her was that of Rachel Green, not Monica Geller. After reading the script, Cox insisted on auditioning for Monica and got the part.

Cox desperately wanted to be a mother, but her pregnancies ended in miscarriages, so she and Arquette resorted to in vitro.

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ALTER EGO

Cox simply felt that her personality was more in line with Monica's, although she admits that she is not as extreme as the character she portrayed for 10 years on "Friends." She said:

"I'm very neat, but I'm not as clean as Monica. I might be a little more surface neat. Monica is also very, very competitive and ... I don't think I am."

Courteney Cox and David Arquette at the premiere of "Scream 4" at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California in 2011 | Source: Getty Images

Courteney Cox and David Arquette at the premiere of "Scream 4" at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California in 2011 | Source: Getty Images

MARRIAGE

In 1996, Cox was cast in "Scream," a role that allowed her to be more than just the "nice girl," and on the set, she met David Arquette. Arquette was smitten and had to work to convince Cox to give him a chance.

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He proposed in 1998, and the couple married in 1999, a celebration attended by some of the biggest names in Hollywood, like Nicholas Cage, Rosanna Arquette, and Brad Pitt.

Courteney Cox and daughter Coco Arquette at the15th Annual LA County Walk to Defeat ALS in 2017 in Los Angeles | Source: Getty Images

Courteney Cox and daughter Coco Arquette at the15th Annual LA County Walk to Defeat ALS in 2017 in Los Angeles | Source: Getty Images

MOTHERHOOD

Cox desperately wanted to be a mother, but her pregnancies ended in miscarriages, so she and Arquette resorted to in vitro to conceive their baby. In 2004, the couple welcomed their daughter Coco.

Sadly the differences that had made Arquette and Cox's relationship exciting ended up driving them apart. The couple filed for divorce in 2012 but have remained friends and devoted co-parents to Coco.

Johnny McDaid and Courteney Cox at the 2019 Hollywood For Science Gala in 2019 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

Johnny McDaid and Courteney Cox at the 2019 Hollywood For Science Gala in 2019 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

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NEW LOVE

Since 2013, Cox has been in a committed relationship with Irish singer/songwriter Johnny McDaid, who is a member of the band Snow Patrol and has written hit songs for Ed Sheeran and P!nk.

Even after all these years, Courtney Cox still has a yen for architecture. When she renovated her home, she made, designed, and oversaw all the alterations herself instead of hiring a professional.

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