Ronny Cox
Cox in 2019
Daniel Ronald Cox

(1938-07-23) July 23, 1938 (age 85)
Alma materEastern New Mexico University
  • Actor
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • storyteller
Years active1972–present
Mary Cox
(m. 1960; died 2006)

Daniel Ronald "Ronny" Cox (born July 23, 1938) is an American actor, singer and songwriter. His best-known roles include Drew Ballinger in Deliverance (1972), George Apple in Apple's Way (1974–75), Ozark Bule in Bound for Glory (1976), Colonel Kerby in Taps (1981), Lieutenant Andrew Bogomil in Beverly Hills Cop (1984) and Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), Dick Jones in RoboCop (1987), Franklin Reed in Family Ties (1986), Vilos Cohaagen in Total Recall (1990), The President in Captain America (1990), Justin in Age of Dinosaurs (2013), Vice President Kinsey in several episodes of Stargate SG-1 and Captain Edward Jellico in two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1992) as well as in an episode of Star Trek: Prodigy (2022). Cox is also active as a musician, performing over 100 times per year at festivals and theaters each year as of 2012.

Personal life

Daniel Ronald Cox was born on July 23, 1938[1] in the mountain town of Cloudcroft, New Mexico, the third of five children to Lounette (née Rucker) and Bob P. Cox, a carpenter who also worked at a dairy.[2][3] He grew up in Portales, New Mexico. Cox met his wife Mary when she was 11 and he was 14. They began dating when she was 15 and he was 18. They married in 1960 and had two sons.[4] 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.[5]

Acting career

As an actor, Cox made his debut in the 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.[6] Cox published his autobiography in 2012, recounting his experiences making the film.[7]

In 1974–1975, Cox starred in the short-lived family-oriented 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. In 1977, he appeared in the episode "Devil Pack" from the series Quinn Martin's Tales of the Unexpected. In 1984, 12 years after Deliverance, Cox again played a member of a small group of men who are lost, this time in the Nevada desert, and being chased by bloodthirsty locals in the low-budget film Courage. One of Cox's roles was that of Dr. John Gideon during the final season of the television medical drama St. Elsewhere. His character was mooned by Dr. Donald Westphall (Ed Flanders) at the end of the third episode of season six. Cox's first role in a big-budget film came in 1984 as Lt. Andrew Bogomil in Beverly Hills Cop, and he returned to the role in Beverly Hills Cop II in 1987. That same year, Cox appeared in the Paul Verhoeven film RoboCop as corporate arch-villain Dick Jones.[8] In 1986, Cox played the mayor in season 3, episodes 1 and 2, "Death Stalks the Big Top", of the TV series Murder, She Wrote.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed] He also appeared as the antagonistic Mars Administrator Vilos Cohaagen in Total Recall the same year. Cox had a guest role on Star Trek: The Next Generation as Captain Edward Jellico in the two-part episode "Chain of Command". He 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 TV film Perfect Murder, Perfect Town and Senator/Vice President Robert Kinsey in Stargate SG-1.

Cox had a role in The Starter Wife. He played Pappy McCallister, the husband of Molly Kagan's best friend Joan. He occasionally has done animation 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.[9][failed verification]

Cox played Walter Kenney in Dexter, season six, episode three ("Smokey and the Bandit").[10] His character was a serial killer known as "The Tooth Fairy", whom Dexter had idolized while growing up. He guest-starred in an episode of Diagnosis Murder entitled "The Pressure to Murder", episode 9, season three. Cox played Gideon Claybourne on season 6 of Nashville in 2018.

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 to play over 100 shows at festivals and theaters each year.[11][12] He is accompanied by his band.[13] Cox also leads a musical tour to Ireland each year.[14]

On November 2, 2019, Cox was inducted into the New Mexico Music Hall of Fame.[15]

On July 25, 2021, Cox won the New Mexico Music Awards with the Norman Petty Producers Award going to Tom (Panda) Ryan for his recording of Ronny Cox's Live at the Kitchen Sink featuring the 2021 Best Folk Music Award with his song, "Portales".[16] Live at the Kitchen Sink was recorded at The Kitchen Sink Recording Studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico.[17]



Year Title
2020 Ronny Cox - Live at the Kitchen Sink
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


  1. ^ "Cox, Ronny 1938–". Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  2. ^ "Ronny Cox – Movies and Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on July 3, 2013.
  3. ^ "Ronny Cox - Biography". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  4. ^ "Ronny Cox - Actor, Singer/Songwriter, Storyteller". Ronny Cox. Retrieved November 15, 2023.
  5. ^ Duren, Rand (May 7, 2009). "Ronny Cox says songs cut to the heart even more since wife's death". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  6. ^ Triplett, Gene (July 13, 2012). "Ronny Cox delivers on screen and concert stage". The Oklahoman. Oklahoma City. Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  7. ^ Lang, Brent (June 20, 2012). "Ronny Cox on 'Deliverance's' 40th Anniversary and Why the 'Total Recall' Remake is a Bad Idea". The Wrap. Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  8. ^ "The death of Dick Jones (Ronny Cox) in Robocop". Movie Deaths Database. June 11, 2005. Archived from the original on March 15, 2013.
  9. ^ "American Actor John Ashton".
  10. ^ "Dexter: "Smokey and the Bandit" Review". IGN. Archived from the original on October 19, 2011.
  11. ^ Riedl, Matt (August 24, 2012). "Music comes first for performer Ronny Cox". The Wichita Eagle.
  12. ^ Cashill, Bob (June 25, 2012). "The Popdose Interview: Ronny Cox". Popdose.
  13. ^ "Ronny Cox to perform at Stiefel February 22nd". Salina Post (Press release). February 8, 2015. Archived from the original on December 1, 2017.
  14. ^ "2017 Ireland Music Tours – Ronny Cox". September 15, 2016. Archived from the original on September 17, 2016.
  15. ^ "2019 Inductees". New Mexico Music Hall of Fame. 2018. Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  16. ^ "2021 New Mexico Music Award Winners". New Mexico Music Awards. 2018. Retrieved August 3, 2021.
  17. ^ "Live at the Kitchen Sink". 2021. Retrieved August 3, 2021.